All Of The Craziest Quotes From Rex & Rob Ryan’s Insane ‘MMQB’ Interview
The Ryan brothers are an inexplicable force of nature in the NFL. They are simultaneously brash and loveable, in a way that very few people are ever able to pull off; particularly in the world of professional football. Rex and Rob say things they should never say. They pass the buck when it suits them and play the "football family" card with the utmost authority. They constantly break the golden sports rule of never writing a check you can't cash, and they continue to believe they are the best in the world at what they do, ignoring and disputing all evidence to the contrary.
And that's all when they've been on their own. Now that they are back together, they are sure to be the most entertaining press conference on your television this fall.
As the sons of coaching legend Buddy Ryan, Rex and Rob have attempted to forge their own separate paths to individual success. Rex won a Super Bowl as the defensive line coach with the Ravens and Rob won two Super Bowls as the linebackers coach with the early 2000's Patriots. Still, in their roles as defensive coordinators and for Rex as a head coach, they have fallen short. But if you're talking to them, you'd never know that they aren't the absolute cream of the crop.
In a fantastic interview with MMQB's Jenny Vrentas, the twin blowhards go full-Ryan. The brothers haven't been on the same coaching staff since they worked for their father on the Cardinals back in 1995. Now that they are reunited as head coach and assistant head coach/defensive in Buffalo, they are taking their hilarious, only partly-intentional insanity to a whole new level.
Here are a few of the best gems imparted in the interview, courtesy of the NFL's Thing 1 and Thing 2.
"ROB: ...I want to give everything I have to a team that I want to be a part of, with a head coach I want to be a part of. Not only is Rex a great head coach, but he is also a great defensive coach. He’s going to be the best coach that I can work for, anytime. And I have worked for Belichick, who is the best head coach in football, in the history of the game. But we’re going to beat him, and we’re going to beat him together. And it’s going to be an awesome challenge."
I'm pretty sure that even Linda Holliday doesn't think about Bill Belichick as often as the Ryan brothers do. Rex has developed a reputation for obsessing over beating AFC-East rival Belichick since becoming the head coach of the New York Jets in 2009. That obsession culminated in a shocking defeat of the Patriots in the 2010 AFC divisional round. Since then, the Patriots have played in two Super Bowls and won one while Rex has moved onto the Bills. It's the same old story, and it's bizarre that after years of being left in Bill's dust that either of these two are willing to put themselves back out there. It's almost admirably shameless. Almost.
"ROB: You take over the 31st group and see how you do. And you’re given about two years to do it. There are two years that don’t have my signature on them, and it’s the last two years in New Orleans. And that’s just the truth.
VRENTAS: It wasn’t your defense?
ROB: Right. And I’m tired of saying it was. It wasn’t.
VRENTAS: Were you forced to run a different system?
ROB: No, I’m not going to say I was “forced.” I advanced the plan to the best of my ability. All of a sudden, we let some good players go; we changed the system after we finished fourth in the league in defense. I don’t know, it just seems strange to me..."
What does it say about a coordinator that for two years, they were doing zero coordinating? That's an odd thing to admit, and quite frankly, cannot be the entire story. It's quite possible that Rob was hamstrung into running a defense that he wasn't comfortable with, but someone should advise him to stop openly admitting that he was a puppet for two years for a defense that he supposedly rejuvenated.
"ROB: ...When I was fired by the Saints, I came here to look at it. Rex loves this team, he brags about this team, so I wanted to be around it. After I did that, for one week, I was like, Damn, I’ve got to be here. I don’t care who was going to offer me a job. I wanted to be a part of this. Rex brought me in, because of nepotism … (pause) … and I’m glad he did."
This is the equivalent of saying that you totally wanted to go to the prom with your cousin and that it didn't matter who else would've asked you. Everyone knows that no one else was going to ask you because - you know - you're going to prom with your cousin. Getting fired for the umpteenth time and then getting promoted to assistant head coach by your twin brother = cousin prom date. That's pure fact.
"REX: ...Our family has been to six Super Bowls as coaches, and we know it takes a physical brand of football and it takes physical players. I said I was going to build a bully, it wasn’t the appropriate word, but I want to be physical. I think we are getting it right. We brought in Richie Incognito, all he does is go to the Pro Bowl."
Yup, nothing says "we're a team that has our shit together" like bringing in Richie Incognito.
"VRENTAS: It sounds like you both feel that you were under attack last year. Did you need to join forces now?
REX: Well, we never lost a fight in our life. Ever. And we ain’t losing this one. And that’s a true statement. Not just because we are badasses—because we are, individually—but collectively, it’s a lot different. To this day, no man is going to whip me. Why? Because I’ve got my brother with me."
What the hell is even happening here? First of all, not only am I obsessed with the fact that he declares that they are badasses - like he's in a 1980's motorcycle gang - but that he clarifies that they're individual badasses in addition to being a badass family. And why is he talking about someone whipping him? Is that a metaphor for football? Because if so, that's just a flat out lie. And if not, then I have no idea why what he's talking about. They are middle-aged, celebrity football coaches. No one is trying to "whip" them.
"ROB: Any people I can help on this team, I am going to help. I am not going to sit on my hands, like I did in New Orleans. The biggest mistake I think I made in New Orleans was sitting on my hands and collecting a paycheck, instead of going in, knowing it was wrong and fixing it."
OMG. He spent the first half of the interview talking about how wronged he was by the Saints, only to go on and admit that he completely stopped doing his job. These guys have so little self-awareness and it's the absolute best.
"ROB: Well, the highest-rated defensive coach in the history of the league is you.
ROB: We can pretend there is somebody else, but there’s not. Hey, my numbers are what they are. Now, I took over some pretty lousy jobs, but that’s OK. But no one’s numbers are better than his. I’m talking about Dick LeBeau’s; I’m talking about Belichick; I’m talking about all of them. Hell, even our dad. Who is the best that ever laced them up? Well, I’m just saying. To be the best defensive coach in football, I’ve got to learn from the best, so I came here."
No seriously, I am in love with these two. Where are these stats coming from? I have no idea, and I don't care. It doesn't matter that Rex has never coached a team to a Super Bowl as a coordinator or a head coach, or that he just compared himself to the guy who won his brother two Super Bowls. There is nobody else! He's in a class of his own! Classic.
"VRENTAS: Speaking of that, how are you guys possibly fraternal twins?
REX: See, now this two egg thing, there is no chance, right? Two identical eggs. Maybe that’s what it is.
ROB: Honestly, there could be a mistake.
REX: I’ll see a picture of us when we were kids, and I have no idea who it is."
"REX: Nobody grinds the way Rob does. Bill Belichick hired Rob for one reason: He knew he was a freaking great football coach, and he could grind. That’s it. If you are going to be with Bill Belichick, you better be a grinder."
I'd 100% believe it if you told me that Rex Ryan sleeps in a Bill Belichick hoodie at night and wakes up to an alarm clock with Bill Belichick's voice saying "We're on to Cincinnati" on a loop.
"VRENTAS: Rob, you won both of your Super Bowls under Rex’s greatest coaching nemesis. Do you know all the Patriots’ secrets?
ROB: Absolutely not. All the respect in the world for Bill Belichick....Look, he is the No. 1 nemesis of every coach in this league. So it’s not just Rex. Now, I think if you ask their offensive staff, the worst they ever play is against Rex... But I know one thing, we are going to beat them. We are together, we’re going to beat the best. It’s two against one. Him one on one against any coach in the league, that guy is pretty damn good. And he’s also got his best buddy Tom Brady with him. He trained him, and he single-handedly made him great as well."
If they think Bill Belichick single-handedly made Tom Brady great, then there is no doubt in my mind that they believe that Rob Gronkowski was actually hand stitched together by Belichick in a Frankenstein-dungeon somewhere. Is it weird that it makes me so happy to think about them thinking that?
This football season is going to be epic. Long live the Ryan brothers.