New Meadowlands larger than life, just right for Ryan

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New Meadowlands larger than life, just right for Ryan

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Welcome to Oz.

You must remind yourself that you've entered the home team's press room at New Meadowlands Stadium when you walk through the door. Otherwise you might feel lost. No, you will feel lost.

There are Jets logos displayed on and behind the podium like with any other team, but to take in their full reach you'll have to tilt your head back. The ceilings stretch to near-cathedral height. For better acoustics? For intimidation? Or maybe to accommodate the personality of Rex Ryan?

He handles the scene well. Though, who would doubt him? Ryan doesn't shy from much; not competition, not emotion, and certainly not attention. And he gets plenty of that at New Meadowlands.

The three walls of the press room not pasted with New York logos are solid glass. Floor to ceiling. So Ryan is not only performing his postgame for the media, but also for the mob of Jets fans that is allowed to gawk just outside. He actually has to walk through them to get to the lectern; a gratifying or harrowing experience, depending on the outcome of the game.

On Sunday they announced his arrival with a booming chant: "REX! REX! REX!"

"I'll say this, it's much nicer coming here after a win than it was last week," he began. The crowd roared its approval. They can do that, you see, because they can hear every word Ryan says. After a minute, he launches into the usual 'It's-about-the-team' bit. The enormous green banner lights that outline the room cast an eerie emerald glow on the coach. It makes the whole thing even weirder.

Against this awesome backdrop stood the earnest Cryin' Ryan. When asked to verify a detail about the injury that sidelined Darrelle Revis, the coach shook his head. "I believe that's right but I'm not 100 percent,'' he said. "I think I was in tears when he told me, 'I pulled a hamstring.' ''

He cracked jokes. Was this the best game Sanchez has played in his career? "No,'' Ryan deadpanned, "I think when he played Penn State that was his best game."

He complimented Belichick. "Maybe they just outplayed us at coach today."

He said 'I told you so.' "I didn't learn a whole lot about the Jets in Sunday's victory. I think a lot of other people learned that this team's a lot tougher than people think.''

And he tried to fool us. On "Hard Knocks" there was some questioning by the Jets of Sanchez' ability to take control of the team -- they brought on backup quarterback Mark Brunell as a veteran presence to help Sanchez deal with pressure. But on Sunday the Jets' bench boss was Sanchez's most loyal supporter.

"We never stopped believing,'' Ryan said. "We know this is the guy who could do it for us. We've been saying it all training camp.''

So it was classic Ryan after all. It's just that everything he does at New Meadowlands is larger-than-life, on a bigger stage, under brighter lights. The funny thing? It seems to be a perfect fit.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Roethlisberger responds to Edelman comments: 'We've got our trophies'

Roethlisberger responds to Edelman comments: 'We've got our trophies'

On Monday, Julian Edelman took a light shot at the Steelers when asked about Antonio Brown streaming Mike Tomlin’s postgame speech on Facebook Live. 

"That's how that team is run," Edelman said on WEEI Monday. "I personally don't think that would be something that would happen in our locker room, but hey, whatever. Some people like red and some people like blue. Some people like tulips and some people like roses. Whatever."

Ben Roethlisberger, one of the players who was speaking during Brown’s video, was asked to respond to Edelman’s comments Wednesday. He did so by saying the Steelers are run in a manner that’s gotten them six Super Bowl championships. 

“I don’t think I need to speak much,” Roethlisberger said. “We’ve got our trophies out there. I’ve got owners that I think are the best in the business. They’re family to us, and I’m sure if he talked to his owner, he would say the same thing about the Rooneys. Anybody in here in the football world or the regular world that owns the Rooneys knows what they stand for. It’s a blessing to call them a family.”

Brown, whose actions were admonished by Tomlin Tuesday, could be fined if the NFL determines that he violated the league’s social media policy. The policy is as follows: 

"The use of social media by coaches, players, and other club football operations personnel is prohibited on game day (including halftime) beginning 90 minutes before kickoff until after the post-game locker room is open to the media and players have first fulfilled their obligation to be available to the news media who are at the game."

Brown apologizes for 'distraction' caused by Facebook Live video

Brown apologizes for 'distraction' caused by Facebook Live video

Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Antonio Brown posted an apology on social media Tuesday night for his Facebook Live video that has caused a stir over the last few days.

"I let my emotions and genuine excitement get the best of me, and I wanted to share that moment with our fans," said Brown in a statement on his Twitter. ""It was wrong of me to do, against team and NFL policy, and I have apologized to Coach Tomlin and my teammates for my actions.

"I'm sorry to them for letting it become a distraction and something that they've had to answer questions about while we're preparing for a big game on Sunday."

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that he has “absolutely no worries on the video's effect" on Sunday's game against the Patriots, but it was "selfish and inconsiderate" of his star wide receiver.

Brown could still be fined for violating the league's social-media policy. The policy states that players, coaches and football operations personnel are banned from using social media on game days 90 minutes before kickoff, during games, and before "traditional media interviews."