Rex Ryan needles Brady, dismisses Amaro’s accusations
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Rex Ryan couldn’t resist offering Patriots quarterback Tom Brady a throwing tip.
And the ever-outspoken Buffalo Bills new coach had much stronger words for his former player, New York Jets tight end Jace Amaro on Wednesday.
Ryan teased Brady, the four-time-winning Super Bowl champ, for bouncing the ceremonial first pitch into the dirt before the Boston Red Sox’s home opener this week against Washington.
At least, Ryan noted, the pitch he threw at the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons’ season opener last week got to the plate.
”Tom needs to keep his elbow up a little bit more, I think,” Ryan said with a wide grin in opening his weekly news conference. ”And Tom likes taking advice from me I know. So I’m sure he’ll be working at that.”
It was all in fun, said Ryan, who noted it’s not often he gets an opportunity to rib someone he considers a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
As for Amaro, the coach dismissed comments the tight end made to SiriusXM radio, by suggesting the Jets lacked accountability under Ryan last season.
Ryan, who was hired by the Bills in January two weeks after being fired by the Jets, stood by using several profanities to dispute Amaro’s accusation made in a Sports Illustrated article published this week.
Acknowledging that Amaro’s comments stung, Ryan waved his hand and said, Amaro ”is the least of my worries.”
Ryan’s willingness to publicly engage with opposing players and coaches – particularly AFC East rivals – is nothing new. Upon being hired by the Jets in 2009, Ryan famously said he didn’t take the job to kiss Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s Super Bowl rings.
The brash and bold-talking coach has so far been no different in Buffalo.
”I don’t take myself too seriously,” Ryan said. ”It’s just who I am.”
And it means little to Ryan if other teams might use his comments as potential bulletin board material.
”You better be worried about my players instead of me,” he said. ”If they think they’re out there competing against me, they’re sadly mistaken. But I will say this: I will have my team prepared, though.”
Veteran running back Fred Jackson said the players intend to have Ryan’s back when it comes to facing his former team.
”We’ll show who’s accountable when we show up and play them,” Jackson said, referring to the Jets. ”I tell you what, that’s going to be a fun game.”
Jackson also has no issue with Ryan’s big-talking bluster.
”We all know what he’s about. He’s a guy that’s a very out-there person. He doesn’t keep anything to himself,” Jackson said, noting that Ryan expects feedback from his players.
”Some coaches you can’t be like that with. They expect you to just get in line and go with what they say.”
Ryan has become an immediate fan- and player-favorite in Buffalo since replacing Doug Marrone, who used an opt-out clause in his contract to step down as coach on Dec. 31.
Ryan vowed to ”build a bully” during his inaugural news conference in taking over a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs in 15 seasons – the NFL’s longest active drought.
The Bills have spent the offseason stockpiling talent through free agency and trades.
The splashes began early last month, when Buffalo acquired running back LeSean McCoy in a trade with Philadelphia. The Bills followed up by luring tight end Charles Clay away from the Miami Dolphins and signing free-agent receiver Percy Harvin.
The additions on offense complement an already stingy and veteran-filled defense to give Ryan more reason to be confident.
”We’re not tiptoeing into somebody else’s stadium,” Ryan said. ”They’re going to have to be really good to beat us, I can tell you that much. I feel great about this football team.”
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