Rex Ryan has become players' favorite

Published Nov. 24, 2010 1:52 a.m. EST

According to a new poll of NFL players, the Jets' Rex Ryan is the coach that they most want to play for, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

Sports Illustrated polled 279 players, asking them “For which other coach would you like to play?” and 21 percent responded Ryan — by far the most.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin came in second with 12 percent. Ryan talked about using HBO's “Hard Knocks” program as a way of recruiting players and fans and it appears to have worked.

Defensive end Trevor Pryce, who the Jets signed when the Ravens released him in late September, summed up the appeal Ryan has around the league.


“You want to play for Rex,” said Pryce, who played under Ryan when he was a defensive coordinator in Baltimore.

"He instills a confidence to you that you don’t have," Pryce added. "By doing that, you don’t want to let somebody like that down. It made you want to live up to what he said about you. That’s the biggest compliment I can give him.”

Patriots coach Bill Belichick finished fifth at seven percent behind Ryan, Tomlin, the Titans’ Jeff Fisher and Saints’ Sean Peyton.

The Jets head into a Thanksgiving night matchup with Cincinnati atop the AFC East at 8-2.