These are desperate times for Rex Ryan

561228.jpg

These are desperate times for Rex Ryan

Rex Ryan hasnt been himself lately.

And thats because Rex Ryan knows that hes in trouble.

Reason 1: On the field, the Jets are 4-6 through 11 weeks. They've lost five of their last seven games. And at this point, were more likely to see leaked footage of Tim Tebow ripping bong hits with Justin Bieber than we are the Green and White in the playoffs.

If and when they fall short, it will be Ryans second consecutive year without a postseason berth, and in a city like New York, that alone leaves a coach with one delicious foot in the unemployment line.

Reason 2: In Ryans case, on-field failure is just the beginning. While he may not be entirely responsible for the Jets circus, hes done a miserable job of managing it. He's pretty much lost control. As a result, the J-E-T-S are more dysfunctional than Thanksgiving at Dez Bryant's house, and need another season under Ryan like Antonio Cromartie needs a box of defective condoms.

Of course, this is the NFL, so you never know. In recent years, we've seen less capable coaches survive more desperate circumstances than what Ryan's up against in New York. But there's no doubt that this season is lining up to be his last with the Jets. He sees the writing on the wall. And leading up to Thursday's showdown with the Pats, we're seeing a far more subdued Ryan than we have in the past.

"Were behind where we have to be and we can only focus on ourselves," Ryan told the Daily News on Monday. "Im not worried about tweaking New England."

To be honest, I don't like seeing Ryan this way. It's a little depressing. I miss the old Rex. Loudmouth Rex. Liar Rex. Bawdy Rex. If history's taught us anything, it's that a Rex divided against itself cannot stand. And this season, we're witnessing the collapse of Rex Ryan as we knew him.

In fact, things are so bad that he's reportedly already started thinking about his post-Jets career. And in a Standing Room Only exclusive, I've learned that Ryan yesterday afternoon, in an ultimate act of desperation actually reached out to his nemesis, Bill Belichick.

According to multiple sources, here's what transpired:

(Phone rings in Bill Belichick's office)
BILL BELICHICK: (hits the speaker) "Yup."

SECRETARY: "Coach, I've got Rex Ryan for you on line 1."

BELICHICK: "That right? Ha. OK, send him through."

SECRETARY: "Right away, sir. You're on with him now . . ."

BELICHICK: "You son of bitch, Jovi. I told you that's never going to work."

REX RYAN: (silence)
BELICHICK: "Seriously. What's up? I'm on a short week here."

RYAN: ". . . Hey there, coach."

BELICHICK: (silence)

RYAN: "It's Rex. I know this is unconventional, but I don't know where else to turn."

BELICHICK: "Umm . . . OK. Don't really have a lot of time here, but, uh, what's up? I was actually thinking about your father this morning. Was real, solid football coach. One of the absolute best at preparing his players to compete."

RYAN: "Well, I appreciate you saying that. I'll definitely send him your regards. Anyway, the reason I called . . . You know, I realize that things haven't always been great between us. But I hope you understand that anything I ever said or did was only a product of how much I respect you.

BELICHICK: (silence)

RYAN: "You still there, coach?"

BELICHICK: "Listen, Rex. I don't know what the & you're getting at, but cut to the chase."

RYAN: "There's no chase, coach. I just, you know, want to make sure that you understand where I'm coming from. I'll just come out and say: I'm &-ing obsessed with you, Bill. You're all I've ever strived to be. And moving forward, you know, if there was ever a time when maybe I was out of work and maybe you needed a little help coaching your defense . . . I, ummm, just wouldn't want our shaky past to mess up a potential future. Know what I mean?"

BELICHICK: "Yeah, I know what you mean. We done yet?"

RYAN: "Sure thing, Coach. Thanks for your time. But I think the better question to ask yourself is: Could it be that we're just getting started?"

BELICHICK: "I'll see you on Thursday. And don't ever &-ing call me again."

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Brandin Cooks ready to bring back arrow celebration after NFL rule change

Brandin Cooks ready to bring back arrow celebration after NFL rule change

Tuesday’s announcement from Roger Goodell that the NFL is “relaxing” its rules on celebrations is good news for at least one Patriot. 

That would be Brandin Cooks, who began celebrating the rule change on Twitter not long after the league made its announcement. 

Cooks, whom the Patriots acquired from the Saints this offseason in a trade that sent first and third-round picks to New Orleans, lost his favorite celebration last season when it was made clear that miming archery was off-limits. Josh Norman was fined $10,000 last season for such a celebration. 

Following Norman’s fine, Cooks lamented the league’s decision to punish what Cooks had previously done in reference to a Bible verse (Psalms 144:6). 

"Send forth lightning and scatter your enemy, and shoot your arrows and rout them," Cooks told the New Orleans Advocate. "I just remember it sticking with me for such a long time, I remember thinking, maybe I can do something with this."

Added Cooks: ”I’ve been doing it for three years now, and there was never a complaint about it. Now, all of a sudden, there is. It just reminds me that, it's almost as if they try to take so much away from us, but for something like this, that means so much to someone that has nothing to do with violence, it's frustrating. I'll definitely continue to speak my opinion about it, and if they have a problem with it, so be it."

When Tuesday’s news emerged, Cooks and former Saints teammate Mark Ingram were quick to react. 

 

Now-and-again Fun League? NFL lightens up on touchdown celebrations

Now-and-again Fun League? NFL lightens up on touchdown celebrations

Roger Goodell announced on Tuesday that the NFL would ease off its restrictions on touchdown celebrations going forward. 

"Just as NFL teams use the offseason to get better, at the league we use this time to listen to players, coaches, officials and fans about how we can continue to improve our great game.," he said in a statement. " . . . Today, we are excited to tell you about another change that comes after conversations with more than 80 current and former players: we are relaxing our rules on celebrations to allow players more room to have fun after they make big plays."

Using the football as a prop, celebrating on the ground and group celebrations will all be allowed after scores under the new policy.

"Offensive demonstrations, celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game, and those directed at an opponent, will still be penalized," Goodell explained.