Only a few days removed from once again exerting his
over-confidence, explaining how the Jets were “going to beat” the
Ryan showed some unexpected modesty when the discussion turned to Bill
“If it was just between [Bill] Belichick and me, he’s
going to win that battle,” Ryan said to reporters at the Jets facility on
Wednesday, according to ESPN New York.
Ryan isn’t exactly stripping himself of the supreme
self-confidence that has made him such a great head coach and defensive
game-planner, but at this point he’s apparently ready to admit that Belichick
is still his superior.
“I don’t think I’m the best head coach in the league
right now,” Ryan willfully conceded. “I think he is.”
For Ryan, the same guy who exclaimed he’s “not here to
kiss Belichick’s rings,” to suddenly now surrender to the aura of Belichick and the Patriots seems a bit
far-fetched. Yet he continued to pile on the praise.
“I’m confident in my abilities, but let’s face it: He’s
got all the rings and everything else — the records,” Ryan said.
“Obviously, I’m not there and neither is anybody else in the league … If
it was just coaching defense, I’d put myself with anybody.”
All of the meek remarks are definitely out of the ordinary
for Ryan, but then again perhaps things have changed down in Florham Park, N.J.
Maybe Ryan has finally learned his lesson in making bold claims, especially
after failing to carry out any of his three consecutive Super Bowl predictions.
Or maybe the loudmouth strategist is just trying to turn the tables on the
mastermind conspirator himself.
Either way, all of the back-and-forth ego caressing has to
just be a subtle preamble to what is setting up to be a colossal showdown
inside Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon. But you can be sure that once that
game clock strikes zero there won’t be any love lost.