Patriots

These are desperate times for Rex Ryan

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These are desperate times for Rex Ryan

Rex Ryan hasnt been himself lately.

And thats because Rex Ryan knows that hes in trouble.

Reason 1: On the field, the Jets are 4-6 through 11 weeks. They've lost five of their last seven games. And at this point, were more likely to see leaked footage of Tim Tebow ripping bong hits with Justin Bieber than we are the Green and White in the playoffs.

If and when they fall short, it will be Ryans second consecutive year without a postseason berth, and in a city like New York, that alone leaves a coach with one delicious foot in the unemployment line.

Reason 2: In Ryans case, on-field failure is just the beginning. While he may not be entirely responsible for the Jets circus, hes done a miserable job of managing it. He's pretty much lost control. As a result, the J-E-T-S are more dysfunctional than Thanksgiving at Dez Bryant's house, and need another season under Ryan like Antonio Cromartie needs a box of defective condoms.

Of course, this is the NFL, so you never know. In recent years, we've seen less capable coaches survive more desperate circumstances than what Ryan's up against in New York. But there's no doubt that this season is lining up to be his last with the Jets. He sees the writing on the wall. And leading up to Thursday's showdown with the Pats, we're seeing a far more subdued Ryan than we have in the past.

"Were behind where we have to be and we can only focus on ourselves," Ryan told the Daily News on Monday. "Im not worried about tweaking New England."

To be honest, I don't like seeing Ryan this way. It's a little depressing. I miss the old Rex. Loudmouth Rex. Liar Rex. Bawdy Rex. If history's taught us anything, it's that a Rex divided against itself cannot stand. And this season, we're witnessing the collapse of Rex Ryan as we knew him.

In fact, things are so bad that he's reportedly already started thinking about his post-Jets career. And in a Standing Room Only exclusive, I've learned that Ryan yesterday afternoon, in an ultimate act of desperation actually reached out to his nemesis, Bill Belichick.

According to multiple sources, here's what transpired:

(Phone rings in Bill Belichick's office)
BILL BELICHICK: (hits the speaker) "Yup."

SECRETARY: "Coach, I've got Rex Ryan for you on line 1."

BELICHICK: "That right? Ha. OK, send him through."

SECRETARY: "Right away, sir. You're on with him now . . ."

BELICHICK: "You son of bitch, Jovi. I told you that's never going to work."

REX RYAN: (silence)
BELICHICK: "Seriously. What's up? I'm on a short week here."

RYAN: ". . . Hey there, coach."

BELICHICK: (silence)

RYAN: "It's Rex. I know this is unconventional, but I don't know where else to turn."

BELICHICK: "Umm . . . OK. Don't really have a lot of time here, but, uh, what's up? I was actually thinking about your father this morning. Was real, solid football coach. One of the absolute best at preparing his players to compete."

RYAN: "Well, I appreciate you saying that. I'll definitely send him your regards. Anyway, the reason I called . . . You know, I realize that things haven't always been great between us. But I hope you understand that anything I ever said or did was only a product of how much I respect you.

BELICHICK: (silence)

RYAN: "You still there, coach?"

BELICHICK: "Listen, Rex. I don't know what the & you're getting at, but cut to the chase."

RYAN: "There's no chase, coach. I just, you know, want to make sure that you understand where I'm coming from. I'll just come out and say: I'm &-ing obsessed with you, Bill. You're all I've ever strived to be. And moving forward, you know, if there was ever a time when maybe I was out of work and maybe you needed a little help coaching your defense . . . I, ummm, just wouldn't want our shaky past to mess up a potential future. Know what I mean?"

BELICHICK: "Yeah, I know what you mean. We done yet?"

RYAN: "Sure thing, Coach. Thanks for your time. But I think the better question to ask yourself is: Could it be that we're just getting started?"

BELICHICK: "I'll see you on Thursday. And don't ever &-ing call me again."

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Julio Jones presents Johnson Bademosi opportunity to prove he's not niche player

Julio Jones presents Johnson Bademosi opportunity to prove he's not niche player

None of us thought Johnson Bademosi would be starting this past Sunday at MetLife Stadium against the Jets because -- well -- that’s not what we perceive the 27-year-old to be. He’s a special teamer. It’s how he’s made his mark in the NFL dating back to 2012 with Cleveland. So why would that change in mid-October for a team he’s only been with for six weeks? Because Bademosi is -- and has always been -- intent on proving he’s more than a niche player.

“I see myself as a football player,” he said, “and whatever position they put me in, I’m going to try to be the best because that’s how I operate and who I am as a person. Whether that’s as a cornerback, on special teams, if they ask me to play wildcat quarterback. Whatever…”

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Bill Belichick and his staff asked for Bademosi to go on the field and not come off. He played 73 defensive snaps in addition to his usual core four special teams duties. 

“I felt like I played a whole game,” Bademosi joked, before saying, “I love playing football so I’m going to go out there and empty myself.”

He did just that, getting targeted only two times in the 24-17 win over the Jets. It was hoped that Bademosi would return to his normal specialist role, but with Stephon Gilmore still out with a concussion, it now seems more and more likely that the sixth year pro will have to be an ironman again Sunday night in primetime against the Falcons. Historically, the Pats have defended bigger receivers. That means Bademosi may be responsible for one of the most dangerous players in the league, Julio Jones.

“He’s an amazing player," he said. “We all know what he’s capable of. As a defense, we have to be prepared for him.”

The Pats were on Super Bowl Sunday and Jones still made a couple of ridiculous plays with either Logan Ryan or Eric Rowe in coverage with safety help over the top.

“He’s fast. He’s physical. He can jump. He can run. He’s smart. He’s everything you want in a wide receiver,” said Bademosi without blinking an eye. That’s the kind of confidence you want from a player at that position and facing this type of challenge. 

“You gotta believe in yourself,” he said “ I’m confident in my abilities. I work hard and trust my preparation.”

Being an elite athlete certainly helps. Bademosi was a scholarship football player at Stanford -- “some guy named Jim Harbaugh called” -- before ending up in the NFL. But it’s Bademosi’s willingness to go all in in the film room that impressed safety Devin McCourty. 

“…I think, honestly, the most work he did was probably with just himself jumping into the film, watching more stuff to exactly see,” said McCourty Thursday. “You know, when you’re a backup more, you’re kind of trying to see everything because you don’t know what role you might be thrust upon once you’re in the game. But, I think once he knew he was starting, it was kind of like, ‘Alright, let me focus in on this.’ I thought he did an awesome job of just being ready and competing.”

Bademosi will have to compete his ass off Sunday night, even against what has been to this point a physically compromised Jones. Based on what he did several days ago, there’s no reason to believe the Pats cornerback won’t bring everything he has, trying to prove again that he’s more than just a special teams whiz.

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