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Ryan apologizes for comments about Chargers
FLORHAM PARK, N.J (AP) - Talk about something you don’t hear everyday: a regretful Rex Ryan.
The brash and mouthy New York Jets coach knew he messed up Wednesday as soon as he said, “I would have had a couple of rings,” if the San Diego Chargers had hired him as coach in 2007. The comments were taken as a slight at Chargers coach Norv Turner, who was hired instead and hasn’t yet won a Super Bowl in San Diego.
Ryan, who made the comments during a conference call with Chargers reporters, insisted he didn’t intentionally diss Turner, but rather was trying to compliment the job the Chargers have done in building a consistent winner. Turner got in a little jab of his own Wednesday when asked about Ryan’s comments.
“I didn’t have a chance to ask him this,” Turner said, “but I was wondering if he had those rings with the ones he’s guaranteed the last couple of years.”
“I think we’re even because he did get me with a good shot,” a smiling Ryan said. “There’s no question.”
With postgame handshakes a big focus these days after Detroit’s Jim Schwartz and San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh nearly got into it last Sunday, should eyes be focused on the Ryan-Turner meeting at midfield Sunday at MetLife Stadium?
“I wouldn’t trade this team for anybody’s,” Ryan said. “I’ve said that forever.”
“We laughed,” running back LaDainian Tomlinson said. “The guys who get offended by it are the guys in San Diego. We don’t care, he’s our coach. We’ve got to play the game. … That’s his way of kind of taking pressure off his players and putting it onto himself. Whatever Rex does, he has a way of challenging players to get the best out of them.”
By John R. Bolton
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