Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Rex Ryan praises Tom Brady
By Rich Cimini
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan sounded like he was reading from his Hollywood script.
The New York Jets coach -- who worships Tom Brady in a recent Adam Sandler comedy in which he plays a devout New England Patriots fan -- offered effusive praise of the Patriots' quarterback Tuesday.
"You can almost say he's a machine back there," said Ryan, whose team faces the Patriots on Thursday night in a virtual must-win. "The thing about him, he's a machine, yet he's a passionate and fiery leader. You wish he was just a machine. His competitive side elevates his team. That's what you get with those once-in-a-generation-type quarterbacks."
The Jets (4-6) will face a red-hot Brady. Since the Week 7 meeting between the two AFC East rivals, Brady is 4-0 with 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions. He has won his last three starts against the Jets, throwing for 909 yards.
Ryan marveled at the Patriots' offensive prowess, alluding to their high league rankings: No. 1 in both total and scoring offense. He noted that they're No. 4 in passing offense, adding with obvious sarcasm, "Yeah, they're struggling. That's something we can maybe take advantage of."
After a terrible start, the Jets have improved to 14th in total defense, restoring some of the unit's trademark confidence.
"We're not going to make it easy for (Brady), I can tell you that," safety Yeremiah Bell said. "We're going to try to beat the receivers up, make it hard for them to get off the line, make him hold the ball a little bit. We're going to play very physical and, hopefully, we can get a couple of interceptions."
Brady will be without one of his key offensive weapons against the Jets after tight end Rob Gronkowski underwent surgery for a broken forearm on Monday.
After saying that the Jets have dealt with injuries to major players (Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes), Ryan was blunt in regards to the Pats' big injury.
"I don't feel sorry for them, let's put it that way," Ryan said.
The Ryan-coached Jets have tasted some success against Brady, having won three of eight meetings -- including a huge upset in the 2010 AFC divisional playoffs. But only twice have the Jets held him to below an 89 passer rating.
In the last meeting, the Jets caused some problems for Brady over the first 58 minutes, but Brady rallied the Patriots to a game-tying field goal in the final minute of regulation and the game-winning field goal in overtime for a 29-26 victory.
"When it mattered most, he delivered and got the victory," Ryan said. "We know each other so well. We know enough of Tom Brady to know that if he knows exactly what (defense) you're in, you ... are ... in ... trouble."
Ryan has tweaked Brady on occasion over the years, which made his movie role even funnier. Playing a Boston-based lawyer in "That's My Boy," Ryan gushes over Brady and Bill Belichick. In his biggest scene, Ryan gets upset when Sandler's character throws a chair out of frustration at a Brady poster on the wall in his office.
"C'mon, Donny, don't screw up my Tom Brady poster!" Ryan's character says. "Look at that jawline, and just the right amount of scruff."
Information from ESPNBoston.com's Mike Rodak was used in this report.