When it’s Jets vs. Browns, it’s Ryan vs. Ryan

continued from page 1

Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

View results

“We’re football coaches,” Rob said. “At one time, my whole goal was just to be able to have my own trailer, live in that and coach football. That was my life’s ambition. That’s how we look at things. We’ve always been destined to be football coaches.”

After their parents divorced, Rob and Rex lived with their mother in Toronto, where the Ryans’ rough-around-the-edges reputations were developed during brutal backyard football games with their older brother, Jim, now an attorney in St. Louis.

The Ryans played basketball, hockey and baseball _ all with reckless abandon. Trouble was, they were not model students or citizens. They needed discipline. So, in seventh grade they were sent to Minnesota to live with their dad, then coaching the Vikings’ famed “Purple People Eaters” defense.

“The Ryans were kind of running roughshod on Canada, so we had to move,” Rob said. “Our lives kind of changed when we moved in with my father, that’s for sure.”

They began as ballboys, and after playing in college, they began a slow climb up the coaching ladder _ from the bottom rung. Rob’s coaching stops included Western Kentucky, Tennessee State and Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College. Rex was at Eastern Kentucky, New Mexico Highlands and Morehead State.

Sure, they had the advantage of a name known throughout coaching, but the Ryans worked hard, were handed nothing and are now regarded as two of the game’s best minds.

When Rex Ryan was hired as the Jets‘ coach after being passed over several teams, no one was prouder than Rob, who believes his brother’s success may help him land his dream job.

“I hope it does,” he said.

Rex Ryan doesn’t pull any punches, and his shoot-from-the-hip style has endeared him to New York’s media, fans and players. Rob Ryan is no different, and it wasn’t surprising to see the Browns dump Gatorade after a recent upset of New Orleans.

They are alike and likable. But they’re also demanding. Step out of line, and there are consequences. That’s how the Ryans were taught.

“We coach men’s football and the best thing to do is be yourself with all the flaws you have,” Rob said. “People can try to sugar coat things, but I believe what Rex does best is he is direct with his players. He tells them the truth, not necessarily what they want to hear but it’s the truth. My father always installed that in us, always be honest.”

Sunday’s game will be at least the seventh with the Ryans on opposite sidelines, with Rob holding a 3-0 lead over Rex in their pro head-to-head matchups. However, this installment of the “Buddy Bowl” will be the first with one of the Ryans as an NFL head coach.

Buddy will be there.

“It’s going to be a great game,” the 76-year-old father said. “They’re both great coaches and I know they’re going to do everything they can to beat the other.”

Amid the firings and hirings that come with life as a coach, Buddy Ryan never had to worry about uprooting Rex and Rob.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • Nathan Walker waits to take the ice during the Capitals' development camp at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington on Monday, July 9, 2012. (Ryan M.L. Young/The Washington Times)

    Nathan Walker’s NHL dreams send him around the world

  • Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon, third from left, smiles as he warms up with his teammates who were were wearing t-shirts in support of him for the All Star game before an interleague baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Anthony Rendon not an All-Star, but he’s been Nats’ MVP

  • Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter speaks during a media availability in the dugout before an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Monday, July 7, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    LOVERRO: Suck-up Buck Showalter needs history lesson

  • Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez, left, celebrates with goalkeeper Sergio Romero after scoring the decisive goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final

  • Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson speaks during a media availability after an NFL football training camp practice at Redskins Park, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again

  • Celebrities In The News
  • Hall of Fame Inductees, KISS, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, Gene Simmons, and Ace Frehley speak at the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Thursday, April, 10, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    KISS rocker Gene Simmons touts 1 percent life: ‘It’s fantastic’

  • This image from video released by Funny Or Die shows President Obama, left, with actor-comedian Zach Galifianakis during an appearance on "Between Two Ferns," the digital short with a laser focus on reaching people aged 18 to 34. The president urged young people to sign up for the new health care plan through an appearance posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014, on the comic website Funny or Die, bypassing TV talk show titans like Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel for an online audience. (AP Photo/Funny Or Die)

    Obama’s ‘Ferns’ interview gets Emmy nod

  • ** FILE ** In this Nov. 12, 2013, file photo, actor Alec Baldwin leaves court in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

    Alec Baldwin in talks to play Rob Ford-like mayor in new NBC drama