Rex Ryan explains new 'cool' tattoo

Updated: August 2, 2011, 10:40 PM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

[+] EnlargeRex Ryan
AP Photo/Julio CortezJets coach Rex Ryan sports a new tattoo as he coaches the defensive line.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Same bold New York Jets.

On Monday, coach Rex Ryan garnered massive media attention for the brand new tattoo he was sporting on his right leg.

What exactly the tattoo depicted, however, remained a mystery -- until Tuesday.

"It's a mountain, some waves and some sharks," Ryan said of the markings that cover his calf from the ankle to the knee.

Ryan keeps hearing that he got his new tattoo because he's going through a mid-life crisis.

"It's funny. Like, I hear it's a mid-life crisis," Ryan said. "It's mid-life all right."

"But what do we talk about?" Ryan asked the team's senior public relations director, Bruce Speight.

"Mid-life hieroglyphics," Speight replied.

"There's no telling what would have come out if I said that," Ryan said, prompting laughter from the assembled media.

Ryan was asked how long it took for the tattoo to be completed.

"After I got through crying?" Ryan joked. "The tattoo is nothing, guys. It's fun. That's why I did it. It took probably an hour and a half."

Ryan said his players like it.

"They think it's cool," Ryan said. "And I'm like, 'Yeah, it is.' "

The team released a video on Facebook that delves further into the tattoo.

"A new 'tat' means believe in yourself, which I've got no problem doing," Ryan said.

In a statement Monday, he described how he got the tattoo: "I was on vacation in Hawaii (early last month). I've got a couple of tattoos before. I just felt like it. The guy that I went to had given me tattoos before and it's just something that I wanted to do."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked Tuesday if he had seen his rival coach's tattoo and if he had any himself.

"I'd like to see that one," he said. "Tattoo-free."

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss was used in this report.

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