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

Harbaugh on Belichick: 'I feel like we have a good relationship'

Harbaugh on Belichick: 'I feel like we have a good relationship'

FOXBORO -- They sounded like a couple of old pals. 

First it was Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who spoke of Ravens coach John Harbaugh during a conference call like one of his favorite fellow lacrosse dads.

"John and I saw a game a couple of years ago, a [Johns] Hopkins vs. Maryland game," Belichick said, adding that Harbaugh's love for the sport is just starting to blossom. "Yeah, I think John is seeing the light."

Belichick added that the two might be closer if they weren't competing so often, both in-season on the field and for free agents in the offseason. 

"As you know, we get into a situation like we’re in now where they have a good team, we have a good team, we’re playing a big game on Monday night," Belichick said. "Both teams are going to do everything they can to compete as hard as they can on Monday night. That’s what it is and that’s what we all signed up for. We all know that’s a part of it.

"When we’re not going head-to-head, which isn’t very often because we compete against each other in the offseason, we compete against each other to build our team and so forth, it just puts things in a little bit of a different situation."

During his press conference with reporters on Wednesday, Harbaugh echoed Belichick's sentiments. Belichick was famously one of Harbaugh's biggest supporters earlier in his career, calling the Ravens on Harbaugh's behalf when the franchise was looking for a new head coach. And if only they weren't so frequently competing against each other, they might be even closer, Harbaugh indicated. 

"I feel like we have a good relationship," Harbaugh said. "Like you said, we're probably not socializing that much, but I don't know how many coaches really do. We're all so busy. I'll see him or any coach at the Combine or at the owner's meetings, and we have a chance to talk. It's always good. I have a ton of respect for him. I really like him as a person. I think he's a great coach -- greatest coach of this generation. He's earned that title.

"And I study him. I've always studied him. I've always studied coach Belichick from when I first met him when I was an assistant at the University of Cincinnati, and he came in and just was great to be around.  [We have a] similar background with the special teams and that sort of thing. All of that kind of goes out the window when you compete against one another. It's like anything else, you want to win. I'm sure he feels the same way."

The recent history between their respective franchises is rife with emotion: There was Baltimore's irate reaction to Belichick's unusual formations in the AFC Divisional Round two seasons ago; there was the Ravens' supposed involvement in sparking Deflategate; and there was Harbaugh's subsequent denial. But Belichick and Harbaugh made it sound on Wednesday as if all's good between them.

Are Patriots still 'pissed off' at Ravens for Deflategate role?

Are Patriots still 'pissed off' at Ravens for Deflategate role?

The Patriots should always be motivated heading into games against the Ravens. After all, Baltimore might be the team’s primary rival. 

Yet Monday’s matchup might be about more than past meetings. It could be a revenge game for the Ravens’ role in the Deflategate fiasco. 

As Tom E. Curran notes in the above video, the then-recently eliminated Ravens set off the ordeal when they tipped off the Colts entering the 2014 AFC Championship game. From there, the year-and-a-half-long saga played itself out, ultimately resulting in Tom Brady accepting a four-game suspension from the league. 

Curran and Mike Giardi discussed whether Monday could be a revenge game, with them both concluding that they feel the Patriots are still “pissed off” at the Ravens. 

"I’m just reading the tea leaves,” Curran said. “Bill Belichick will usually throw bouquet after bouquet at the Baltimore Ravens any time they play, from Ozzie Newsome, to George Kokinis, to Eric DeCosta, to John Harbaugh, Dean Pees, everyone. Not a lot of that today. Make of that what you will; I don’t think it’s a coincidence because I do know that when the Patriots were going through the process early on, the fact that the Ravens had dropped a dime -- their assistant special teams coach Jerry Rosburg calling the Indianapolis Colts and saying, “Look there was some foolishness going on with the K balls.’

“Additionally, when that email from the Colts to the NFL was sent to Mike Kensil, it said, 'It’s well-known throughout the league that the Patriots screw with the balls after they’ve been checked by the officials.' So if that conversation was going on during the week between those two teams, one certainly has to surmise that they also spoke about the fact of deflating footballs. 

“So as much as John Harbaugh has tried to dissuade anyone from thinking there was involvement, Dean Pees was interviewed by Ted Wells, Jerry Rosburg was interviewed by Ted Wells. Those are the only two principals from other organizations who were involved, so yeah, I think they’re still probably pretty pissed off about it.”