Jets' Ryan speaks to LB Scott about fan comments
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Bart Scott was once a favorite of Jets fans with his hard hits, big plays and colorful comments.
Now, they're taking shots at each other.
The chatty linebacker has struggled with a hyperextended toe that has limited his production, and fans have made it clear that they're not happy with the team's 4-7 record. A video posted on Deadspin.com showed a group of angry fans screaming obscenities and insults at the players as they walked off the field at MetLife Stadium at halftime of the Jets' game against the New England Patriots last Thursday night.
Scott, when asked about the video, told the Daily News that the harsh fans who yell at you were probably "picked last in dodgeball all through high school." He also told Newsday that they probably couldn't make it through "a high school practice."
Well, coach Rex Ryan needed to set Scott straight Thursday.
"You've got to appreciate our fans," Ryan said he told Scott. "Obviously, in the good times it's much easier than in the bad times, so I had that conversation with Bart."
Blogs and sports talk radio have been hot the past few weeks with fans frustrated with Ryan, general manager Mike Tannenbaum, owner Woody Johnson and just about every player as the Jets appear headed to a second straight season without a playoff appearance.
"What I said I'll stay behind: that our fans deserve better," Ryan said. "And I was the first guy that would say that. With us, what I mentioned to Bart, you have to appreciate the fans. The thing that makes this game so great is the players and the fans, and that's the truth."
Ryan is speaking from experience after he was fined $75,000 for cursing at a fan last season and received a $50,000 fine for making an obscene hand gesture to a fan at a mixed martial arts event in Florida in 2010.
"I learned from it and I think the team learned from it, we keep our heads down and go right in the locker room," Ryan said. "Obviously I made a huge mistake there. I hope I wasn't the only one that learned from it. Just go in, and people are entitled to what they want to say."
Scott didn't apologize for his comments Thursday, but appeared to soften his stance.
"Of course, I'm going to protect my team and protect my organization, but I understand that they pay good money," Scott said. "I'm well aware of that. It's freedom of speech. You can say what you want as long as nobody gets physical or puts their hands on you."