Rex Ryan backlash well underway in Big Apple
Well, here's a big upset: Rex Ryan is no longer the big media darling of New York.
In fact, the Jets' head coach -- and former lovable defensive coordinator of the Ravens, you'll remember -- is getting killed in the tabloids and on talk radio for his team's disappointing 8-8 season and three straight losses to the Eagles, Giants and Dolphins to close it out.
He's also getting bashed for his team's boorish behavior and the sense that the Jets were out-of-control in recent weeks.
Jets fans were already disgusted by Santonio Holmes' sulking in the final game against the Dolphins, during which Holmes was called out by teammates for quitting and eventually benched -- apparently without Ryan's knowledge -- by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
(And Holmes was one of the team captains! Appointed by none other than -- ta-daa! -- Rex Ryan.)
This was followed by another devastating PR blow for Gang Green: linebacker Bart Scott, the former Ravens, gave the finger to photographers as the Jets cleaned out their lockers Monday.
OK, everyone knows New York's a tough town. Well, maybe everyone except Ryan, who had an extended honeymoon period with the media and fans after guiding the Jets to the AFC Championship game two years in a row.
But now comes the predictable backlash, made even harder on Ryan because of his swagger and his mouth and his larger-than-life personality.
Some sample headlines from the tabloids today:
"Rex becomes punch line as Jets turned into a joke."
"Oh, those classy Jets! LB makes obscene gesture at photographers."
"Jets issues go deeper than captains."
Ouch. Looks like a long, ugly off-season for Ryan and his team. And that's the price you pay when you talk a good game, rather than play it.