Redskins

Rex, Woody excited for Jets' new 'beginning'

201301081112403545908-p2.jpeg

Rex, Woody excited for Jets' new 'beginning'

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) The big, bold statements are back - and so is Rex Ryan.

The New York Jets coach, kept on board despite owner Woody Johnson firing general manager Mike Tannenbaum last week, had no Super Bowl guarantees - but he's certainly back to being the brash Ryan from before.

``We are going to be a dangerous football team,'' Ryan warned Tuesday. ``I can promise you that. I'm going to tell you: You're not going to want to play the Jets.''

During a nearly 40-minute ``season-ending'' news conference that came nine days after the Jets' 6-10 season ended, both Johnson and Ryan - each decked out in green ties - spoke about being excited for the team's future.

And, as far as Johnson is concerned, that future begins with Ryan, who acknowledged he was concerned he might be fired after the season because he ``failed'' to leave his imprint on all aspects of the team. But Johnson said that was never a scenario in his mind.

``I think Rex Ryan is perfect for the New York Jets,'' Johnson said. ``He is 100 percent this team.''

It sounded a bit the way Ryan's introductory news conference did four years ago, when the talk was about how the Jets would meet President Obama soon and how the franchise was going for the Super Bowl.

``I'm approaching this day like it's the first day. Period,'' a fired-up Ryan said Tuesday. ``Like my first day as a head coach. This is a new chance for me. This is a beginning, certainly not an end.''

While Ryan has toned down that talk during the last few seasons, he made no mistake that he is rejuvenated - after a few days in the Bahamas - and rededicated to bringing the franchise where he always has intended.

``We're not going to be bullied,'' Ryan said. ``We might not win every game, and no team does. But you've got to stand for something. We're going to be the team you don't want to play.''

That wasn't the case this season, of course, as the Jets failed to make the playoffs for the second straight year after consecutive trips to the AFC championship game in Ryan's first two seasons.

While Tannenbaum was fired and the Jets continue to search for a replacement - a process Johnson said Ryan will be part of - significant changes are being made to the coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano was fired after one season in which the offense ranked among the league's worst.

``I want to be more of an unpredictable offense,'' Ryan said. ``As hard as we are to attack defensively, I want to be offensively.''

Quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh is also out after four seasons.

Neither Sparano nor Cavanaugh could get starting Mark Sanchez to make the next step in his development, and he actually regressed this season - culminating in the first benching of his career. Sanchez's 52 turnovers the last two seasons are the most in the NFL, and Ryan and Johnson insisted money wouldn't factor into any decisions on personnel - despite the fact Sanchez is owed $8.25 million in guarantees and would cost the Jets a $17.1 million salary cap hit if they cut him.

The Jets also couldn't figure out a way to effectively use backup quarterback Tim Tebow, who failed to get into the end zone all season as he stood mostly on the sideline after being expected to be a major part of Sparano's offense. Tebow is expected to be traded or released - but personnel moves will largely depend on the next general manager.

``It is way too early to say what any of our players' futures are,'' Ryan said.

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, whose contract is expiring, also won't be back. Ryan has worked with Pettine the last 10 years, but said Pettine was interviewing for the same job in Buffalo and the two felt it was time for him to look at other opportunities.

Ryan hinted that Pettine's replacement would come from within the franchise, likely secondary coach Dennis Thurman, but didn't want to announce anything since ``the ink's not dry.''

Special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff retired after the season, and will be replaced by his assistant, Ben Kotwica.

Ryan's much-discussed tattoo of his wife wearing a Sanchez jersey - photographed while he was in the Bahamas - also came up. The coach said he has had it on his right arm for nearly three years, and was able to joke about all the commotion.

``I know what you're thinking: Obviously, if Sanchez doesn't play better that number is changing,'' Ryan said, smiling. ``I've been married 25 years and, in my eyes, my wife is the most beautiful woman in the world.''

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Rewatching 'All Or Nothing': You'll absolutely love this Ron Rivera halftime speech

screen_shot_2020-03-27_at_12.52.21_pm.png
Amazon Prime

Rewatching 'All Or Nothing': You'll absolutely love this Ron Rivera halftime speech

Pete Hailey is rewatching Amazon's All Or Nothing, a behind-the-scenes look at the 2018 Panthers, to learn about Ron Rivera and other key people who are now a part of the Redskins. Here's his review of episode five, "It Happens."

The first four episodes of 2018's All Or Nothing, which closely followed Ron Rivera's Panthers from the start of the season to the end, have led to thoughtful reviews about the coach's steady leadership and how he believes in building confidence in his young players.

This review, however, is going to be simpler than the previous installments. In fact, it'd be difficult to get much simpler, honestly.

That's because the climax of the fifth episode involves Rivera ripping into his team at halftime, and the ripping goes on for 60 straight and intense seconds, and few things are cooler than getting access inside of a locker room where this level of ripping is occuring, so this story exists just to highlight the ripping.

The reason Rivera goes off on the Panthers is because of a very poor first half on the road against the Steelers. Carolina went into Pittsburgh hoping to make a statement on prime time, but instead, they got worked to the tune of a 31-14 deficit through two quarters.

So, Rivera lets his guys have it. First, he addresses corner Donte Jackson, who was losing his one-on-one battle with Antonio Brown. After that, he goes in on everyone else. Here's a transcript of it all (pretty much every sentence could have an exclamation point at the end of it, by the way, so read this in your best yelling voice):

Don't lose your mind. Don't let him get inside your head. You got just as much skill and ability as anybody on that damn field. You don't let that (redacted) push you around. You're too good, but you've got to keep your mind in the game and stay focused, all right? Don't let him get to you. You are too good of a football player to worry about (redacted) like that, all right? You go out and do your job.

Now, the rest of you (redacted), the same thing. The only thing they've gotten on us has been what? Two (redacted) long passes. You have to challenge these (redacted) guys. You can't sit there and accept it. This is their (redacted) history. This is who the (redacted) they are. They expect you guys to (redacted) roll over. You can't. You've got to defy them and challenge their (redacted). You've got to hit the (redacted) (redacted) center in his (redacted) mouth. That's how you beat these (redacted) teams. These (redacted) teams come out because they think they've got (redacted). And they challenge your (redacted). Well (redacted) them. Challenge them back. Find out what they're really made of. 

While All Or Nothing is a produced show, Rivera's passionate speech wasn't followed by a made-for-TV comeback. In fact, the second half was worse than the first, with the Panthers losing the contest 52-21. That said, the rant was 1) still compelling as (redacted) and 2) a look at a side of the 58-year-old Redskins fans obviously haven't seen yet.

Since taking over the Burgundy and Gold in January, Rivera gave an introductory press conference that featured only hints of his competitive nature. After that day, he's done plenty of other interviews, but they've been fairly typical or even lighter conversations.

The version of Ron that lit up the Panthers that night in 2018 will probably only show up from late-summer to late-winter or so, when meaningful practices and games are taking place. Until then, the calm and thoughtful (though still serious) vibes he's given off so far with the Redskins when behind a microphone or on-camera should continue.

However, as episode five of Amazon's project highlighted, Rivera's not afraid to turn the dial up so much it snaps off in his hand. 

In recent years, big-name Washington players like Adrian Peterson and Jonathan Allen have made it clear that they didn't like how easygoing Redskins Park felt at times, specifically when the results on the field suggested a need for more accountability and discipline.

When watching Rivera sound off on his old team, it was hard not to think how that approach will be more than welcome on his new team.

Here is a link to the uncensored speech. If around family, you may want to put some headphones in before watching.

Links to past reviews:

Episode 1: Rivera doesn't flinch after adversity hits

Episode 2: Rivera shows his feelings on distractions

Episode 3: Special teams truly mean something to Ron

Episode 4: Young Redskins will have a chance in 2020

Quick Links

This date in Wizards history: Kobe Bryant scores 55 in last matchup with Michael Jordan

This date in Wizards history: Kobe Bryant scores 55 in last matchup with Michael Jordan

With the NBA season suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Wizards, or any team for that matter, are currently unable to make their mark on the NBA history books. 

So on this day, March 28th, we roll the clocks back 17 years to a major moment in not only Wizards history, but in NBA history as well. The final meeting between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. 

2003 was Jordan's second season in Washington and his last in a legendary 15-year career where he won six championships, five MVPs, 10 scoring titles and nine All-Defensive selections.

If anyone came close to being the next MJ, it was Bryant. By their final meeting, the 24-year-old prodigy already had three titles and more than enough reason to put on a show against his idol. 

Bryant went for 55 points against the Wizards, scoring 42 in the first half. He went 15-for-29 from the field and made 9-of-13 from three. Safe to say, Bryant was on a mission following a one-point loss to the Wizards earlier that season. 

He scored an inefficient 27 points on 8-21 shooting and was outplayed by a 40-year-old Jordan. According to Gilbert Arenas, Jordan told Bryant he would never fill his shoes following the loss. In true Bryant fashion, he held onto that moment, apparently didn't talk to his teammates for two weeks leading up to the rematch and took it all out on the Wizards. 

Jordan didn't have a bad game by any stretch. He still scored 23 points on 10-20 shooting to go along with four assists, but he was simply no match for Bryant. 

The Wizards would go on to finish 37-45 miss out on the playoffs and take Jarvis Hayes with the 10th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.

The Lakers went for the first run of four-straight titles since Bill Russell's Celtics but fell short in the Western Conference Semifinals to Tim Duncan and the Spurs. They'd return to the Finals the following year only to lose to the Pistons. After that, Shaquille O'Neal was traded to Miami and the Lakers didn't win a championship for another five years. 

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: