It seems that even when Rex Ryan isn’t trying to be controversial, he just can’t help himself.
On a conference call Wednesday, the Jets head coach tried to compliment this week’s opponent, San Diego, which passed on Ryan as its head coach four years ago.
“Well, I think I would have had a couple of rings [had he been hired],” Ryan said. “I’m telling you, those teams were loaded.”
Thursday morning, the New York tabloids read “Ring Ding” and “No Ring Circus.” That’s not exactly how Ryan hoped his comments would come across.
Chargers head coach Norv Turner responded in kind.
“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.”
(Perhaps this is why Bill Belichick prefers to keep out of as many soap operas as possible.)
Ryan apologized again — after calling Turner privately Wednesday — at Thursday’s presser.
“It’s all on me; I’m guilty, absolutely,” Ryan said. “I did call Norv, I won’t get into that conversation but it was unintentional. I think we’re even because he did get me with a good comeback, there’s no question.”
All of this adds to a rivalry that has gone overlooked in the NFL. The Jets won at San Diego, 17-13, in the playoffs in Ryan’s first year. More infamously, New York beat them in the 2005 playoffs thanks to a Nate Kaeding missed field goal.
San Diego stands at 4-1 this season, while the Jets are 3-3 with wins over Dallas, Jacksonville and Miami — teams that have a combined record of 3-13.