The son of Oklahoman and NFL coaching icon Buddy Ryan, Rex was born in Ardmore, played football at Southwestern State University and transformed the OU defense as coordinator in 1998. Now Rex is a successful NFL head coach himself, taking the New York Jets to the 2009 AFC title game in his first season.
Ryan is a lightning rod figure, with his bluster and bravado, and since the end of the season, he’s twice made news, once for an obscene gesture at a Mixed Martial Arts fight in Miami and again at a Carolina Hurricanes hockey game, where he was booed for wearing a Philadelphia Flyers jersey and then played along by donning a Hurricanes shirt. I appreciate everybody’s interest in making sure that I was still in the papers and all those other things — the video. The problem that happened with that wardrobe. I was at the hockey game — and I would like to say USA, let’s go take care of business, really proud of the way they are playing — but what happened, I thought I had the fighting strap attached to the T-shirt. Apparently I didn’t. Big mistake. But I appreciate everybody having such a special interest in that. Unfortunately we can’t jump right back into that AFC Championship Game. We are at 0-0 like everybody else. You have to earn your right to get back to where we were. And you look at our division with New England and Miami and Buffalo. I know Miami will be ticked because I never put them on top, but uh, really don’t care. But I can promise you one thing, we are coming after each and every one of those teams with guns a blazing. So get ready and strap it up tight, because here we come. That is the way we play football and that is the way we will continue to play football. I enjoy watching the (Combine) drills, just to see how the guys move and change of direction. You are watching an offensive lineman run a 40 and it’s like, ‘ooh! He made it!’ But you can see a guy, can he bend at his ankles, knees and hips. And the lateral quickness and things like that is what you really look for.
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