Jets' Ryan recycles his Super Bowl guarantee


Jets' Ryan recycles his Super Bowl guarantee

By TomE. Curran
INDIANAPOLIS - It's Thursday. Time for Rex Ryan to guarantee the Jets will win the Super Bowl. Joe Namath did the same thing more than four decades ago. His guarantee held up and he lives on as a cultural icon. But Rex has bastardized Broadway Joe's artful bombast to the point where A) everyone smiles, nods and says, "That's Rex... and B) he undercuts his team's considerable accomplishments in his first two years as head coach. "This is the year we win the Super Bowl," Ryan proclaimed Thursday afternoon at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I thought we'd win it my first two years. I guarantee it this year."Ryan makes more promises than a politician. And while it may be harmless bluster and great theater, do you want to get to the point where the words coming from your mouth are discounted? I asked Ryan, "Is there a point when you make guarantees andthey doesn't happen that it will be difficult for people to take it seriously?""I don't care about people taking it seriously," Ryan shot back. "We made it to the AFC Championship two years in a row whenI think people predicted we'd win six games. So, I don't care what people think. I care what our orgainzation believes and what our fans believe. "So, empty promises...I know we got to the same place (the AFC Championship) last year, it might not appear we got better, butI thinkwe got a lot better last year. If we can improve a little bit more, then why not us? We did beat the team with the most wins in the playoffs at their place (New England. We came (to Indianapolis) had a great win against a great team. We're the only team to make the final four the last two years, so why wouldn't I be positive? (Should I say), 'Hey guys, I'll be happy if we're 8-8.' That's the wrong guy standing in front of you."I'm always gonna say the same thing," Ryan concluded. "I believe we can be champs and why wouldn't I believe it. Somebody tell me whyI shouldn't believe that we don't deserve to be champions."Instead of doing that - because the Jets absolutely could win the Super Bowl - I tried to point out that using the word "guarantee"doesn't meanRyan believes his team "can be champs" but that they will be. "I'm not the smartest guy of all time, the sharpest tack," he answered. "Guarantee ... I don't know. I'm just telling you how I feel." Last year, Ryan felt his team was "soon to be champs" as he famously wrote on the side of an ESPN RV. And now, 18 days afteranother Jets-freeSuper Bowl was contested (for the 42nd consecutive season), Ryan's got his Jets winning the Lombardi. The guy is entertaining. And, he's absolutely right, two AFC Championship appearances in his first two seasons as head coach with a just out of the womb quarterback? Amazing coaching job. But try digesting the actual words and imagery Ryan usedThursday when speaking to a guffawing throng of reporters who'd been waiting for Ryan all day. This is how Ryan tried to explain his confidence: "I know the kind of players we have I know the players we're gonna have represent us. This is not something I just believe in. It's not what I want. It's what a whole bunch of people want. From our players, coaches, the entire organization and our fans. Our New York Jets fans want a Super Bowl. I feel it. I sense it. There's no doubt about it. And I think it's my responsibility. The reason I think we're gonna win is we are gonna lock arms and get it done. Players, coaches, fans, we are gonna lock arms. And when we do, we're gonna find a way. And I believe it." They'll win because they "want" it?God only knows why the other 31 teams in the league don'twant to win it, because that's apparently what it takes. And the arm-locking. That should be a helluva photo-op.Bless the man, he puts the entertainment in sports entertainment. And he does stand in stark contrast to his Foxboro counterpart. But this year, he may not find as many faces smiling back at him if he doesn't make good on his promises. Again. Tom E. Curran canbe reached at Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Butler reaction to Gilmore signing: 'We got another good player'

Butler reaction to Gilmore signing: 'We got another good player'

FOXBORO -- Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium gave reporters their first opportunity to see both Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore on the field at the same time.

Once Gilmore signed with the Patriots earlier this offseason, there was no guarantee he'd actually team up with the 27-year-old in his fourth season out of West Alabama. But Butler wasn't given an offer sheet by the Saints or anyone else, he wasn't traded, and now together they make up one of the most talented cornerback duos in the NFL. 

"Um, nothing much really," Butler replied when asked for his initial reaction to the Gilmore deal. "Nothing much really. We got a better player. We got another player. We got another good player on this team. Anything to help the team win, I'm down with."

Depite the fact that Gilmore is the one who received the big-money contract from the Patriots earlier this year, Butler had nothing but good things to say about his teammate following Thursday's workout. 

"He brings the size and the coverage skills," Butler said. "One of the best guys in the league. Very underrated. [He's] come in, head down, working hard. Just trying to build off each other no matter what."

Butler acknowledged that the corner group, which also includes Eric Rowe, Cyrus Jones and Jonathan Jones, has some work to do when it comes to their communication, but he indicated he'll be happy to chip in wherever he's needed. The Patriots could use some help in the slot following Logan Ryan's departure to Tennessee, and Butler said he'd be open to playing inside.

"Wherever they put me, I'm gonna play that role," he said. "I'm ready to play the slot if that's what it is."

Does Butler want to be with Patriots beyond 2017? 'Whatever happens, happens'

Does Butler want to be with Patriots beyond 2017? 'Whatever happens, happens'

FOXBORO -- Malcolm Butler came off of the Gillette Stadium practice field to a gaggle of reporters who had been interested in speaking to him all offseason. There had been speculation not too long ago that he'd be traded. There was speculation he might sign elsewhere as a restrcited free agent.

What he would say on those topics might prove to be informative. People were eager to hear from him. But it was what he didn't say that may have been the most interesting part of his first back-and-forth with reporters since Super Bowl LI.

In the rain, in front of a dozen or more microphones, following his team's third organized team activity practice, Butler was asked if he would like to be in New England beyond the 2017 season, the final year of his contract. 

"Can't predict the future," he said. "Whatever happens, happens."

Butler was given several opportunities to say that he'd like to stick with the Patriots for the long term, but he was non-committal. Though his presence on the roster for this season gives the Patriots a supremely talented cornerback duo, the fact that the team gave Stephon Gilmore a lucrative long-term contract this offseason makes Butler's long-term future in New England a bit hazy.

Playing for a restricted free agent tender worth $3.91 million, Butler was asked if it was difficult to separate the business side of things from his on-field performance.

"Not really," he insisted. "Just gotta come here and just play football. You gotta earn everything you want. Gotta come here, work hard each and every day. Nobody's gonna give you nothing."

He added: "Just gotta keep working. Ignore the noise, and just keep working. No matter what. You got a job to do no matter where you're at. Glad to be here to do this job."

Butler received significant interest from the Saints during the offseason, and he made a trip to New Orleans to visit the organization's facilities there. Unwilling to provide Butler with a big-money contract offer and turn over their first-round pick to the Patriots, the Saints decided to cease in their pursuit of the 27-year-old Super Bowl XLIX hero. 

Butler said he didn't wasn't always sure he was going to be in New England for 2017.

"You never know what's gonna happen, I was just sitting back patiently waiting," he explained. "Just doing what I can do, control only what I can control. I'm here now and that's what it is."

That Butler has been at Patriots workouts and OTA practices since signing his tender is an indication that he's ready to throw himself into the upcoming season with his sights set on performing as well as possible in order to put himself in the best position possible when he's scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency at the end of the year. 

"Wasn't gonna hurt nobody but myself if I missed this," he admitted. "This is extra time to get better, and that's what I'm out here to do. To get better and have another great year. Anything to help the team. Present a positive image."