Jets coach Rex Ryan doesn’t like the Patriots. That fact is well established. And so Ryan also doesn’t like his former players who have chosen to play for the Patriots.
In response to the news that long-time Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis had rejected a one-year offer from the team that drafted him in 2000 and instead joined the Patriots, Jets coach Rex Ryan said (according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News), “The fact that he chose them . . . there’s no way I’m going to wish him well. There’s no chance of that.”
At least one of Ellis’ teammates feels different. Nose tackle Sione Pouha called Ellis “a brother of mine” in remarks distributed by the team.
“We play them twice a year and things happen like that,” Pouha said. “But at the same time I respect him more than a football player. [I respect him] as a father and as a former teammate of mine. He was here when I first got here, so he had such an influence on me, so he deserves the respect to make that decision.”
Per Mehta, Ellis wanted to stay with the Jets. But he wanted an extension, and the team wouldn’t give it to him. Thus, the decision to leave became easier.
And so, as hard as it may be for Ryan to fathom, someone actually chose to play for Bill Belichick instead of Rex Ryan.