Ryan apologizes for cursing at fan
Rex Ryan's emotions got the best of him — again.
The NFL is looking into an Internet video that shows the New York Jets coach using an obscenity while angrily responding to a fan at halftime of the team's 37-16 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday night.
''I obviously, you know, made a mistake,'' Ryan said Monday. ''I was full of emotion and just popped off, and obviously I know I represent the National Football League and I know I represent the Jets. I know it was a mistake and I apologize. This is who I am. I made a mistake.''
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is aware of the 49-second video shot by a fan, which shows the Jets walking off the field. When Ryan appears, someone is heard yelling, ''Hey, Rex, Belichick is better than you,'' referring to Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Ryan looks up and tells the fan to ''shut up'' while also using an obscenity.
Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said in a statement that he and Ryan discussed the incident.
''He knows that his behavior was not acceptable,'' Tannenbaum said.
Meanwhile, Belichick said he didn't recall using a vulgar phrase while coming off the field after the game. The New York Post reported that Belichick had his arm around his son, Stephen, when he made the remark regarding the Jets' defense.
''I don't remember it that way,'' Belichick said at his news conference at Patriots headquarters. ''I don't think we're here to talk about that. If you want to talk about the game, great.''
Any possible discipline for Ryan, the Jets said, would be handled by the league because it was a ''game-related matter.'' He was fined $50,000 by the Jets in February 2010 after he was caught on a cellphone camera giving the middle finger to a fan during a mixed martial arts event in Florida.
The latest incident came moments after Ryan was infuriated that quarterback Mark Sanchez called a timeout just before scoring a touchdown that gave the Jets a brief lead. The timeout left Tom Brady and the Patriots plenty of time to march downfield for a score to go ahead 13-9. Ryan said there was a miscommunication on the timeout, but told NBC it was ''the stupidest thing in football history.''
A few minutes later, an angry Ryan took exception to the fan's comment.
''I'm about as big a competitor as there is, and at that time, I was in no mood to hear anything,'' Ryan said. ''But I also understand that I've got to handle that better.''
Ryan, known for his bold and brash comments, said he ''makes mistakes all the time'' and isn't ''perfect by any stretch,'' as shown by the latest incident.
''Sometimes,'' he said, ''my emotions get the best of me.''
Ryan said he took no offense to Belichick's comments, and joked that he said the same thing to his son after the Jets beat the Patriots' No. 1 offense in the playoffs in January.
''Realistically, you know my son wasn't at that playoff game, right?'' Ryan said. ''It sounded like a hell of a story, though, didn't it? It's something I'll bring up to him after we beat them in the playoffs again this year.''