Rex Ryan doesn’t make an apologies for his self-confidence, or his confidence in his players. The swagger that has come to define Ryan and his Jets is considered brash by some standards, inspiring by others. Either way, Ryan isn’t changing his ways for anyone.
During a wide-ranging interview with NFL Network’s Deion Sanders, Ryan discusses his QB Mark Sanchez, why the Jets are better than last season, what they need to improve on to reach the Super Bowl and the source of his all-encompassing confidence.
Here are a few excerpts of the interview:
Sanders: What kind of team do you have?
Ryan: I think we’ve got a great team.
Sanders: [There is] a bull’s-eye on your chest. But I think you like that.
Ryan: Well, you know what? I look at it this way, Prime. I look at it this way: I think the bull’s-eye is on our back. I think the bull’s-eye we place on our opponent is on their chest. And I think that’s the difference. So, we come right out. We tell you what we believe. And yeah, we got a bull’s-eye on our back. But we’re telling you that we think we’re better than your team. We know we’re gonna get the best you’ve got. But the great thing is, we’re gonna come out and we think we can beat anybody at their best and our best. We think we’re good enough to win games.
Sanders: Where do you get this swagger from, man? I mean, you know, they criticize you about “Hard Knocks,” first of all. You did a great job, man.
Ryan: I’m just gonna be myself. And, you know, I think that’s it. And I just got such great confidence. I have confidence in myself, but more importantly, I have confidence in this organization.
Sanders: There’s an expectation in New York …
Ryan: Yeah, but there can’t be a higher expectation than what we’ve placed on ourselves. We expect to be champions. We know we gotta work our tail off to even be considered that. But we’re not afraid to say that this is our goal and this is who we are. And this is always gonna be our expectation.
Sanders: What do you want to be?
Ryan: I want to be number one. In every category. You know, because that’s what we’ve built. Now, we’re ahead of where we were last year. We know where we’re gonna be. I mean, we truly know where we’re gonna be. We will have the best defense in football. And it’s just because we have the scheme, we have the players, we have the coach. Then what’s our excuse? We have no excuse. Let’s go out and do it. Now, we just gotta get it done. And we got to tighten some things up. And, you know, our communication and all that. Let our guys play to that god given ability that they have. And it’s gonna be beautiful.
Don’t miss the full sitdown with Sanders and Ryan on NFL Network’s “Thursday Night Kickoff” tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET.