Rex Ryan Calls Defense ‘Best in NFL,’ Exchanges Barbs With Jim Schwartz

Bold claims and call-outs are simply part of Rex Ryan's weekly preparations — no matter who the opponents are. This week, he's even gotten into it with the Lions.

Ryan referred to his team's defense as "the best defense in the National Football League" — a claim probably more arguable than Raheem Morris' proclamation that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the best in the NFC.

Still, Lions coach Jim Schwartz wasn't so sure about Ryan's claim, citing his team's statistical superiority in one category, according to the Detroit Free Press.

"They’re really good at stopping the run. They’ve done a good job of putting the pressure on the quarterback. I think they have what, 15 sacks? I think we have (23). I think that’s what it is."

In response, Ryan stood by his statements.

"Whether that’s a shot across our bow we only have 15 sacks, that’s fine with me. That’s good. They ought to be proud of the fact that they got more sacks than we do and more turnovers at this point than we do. Generally you want to judge yourself against the best, so judge yourself against our defense. That makes sense to me," he said.

He also went on to clarify why he had said what he had said.

"My comment about the best defense in the National Football League's coming into town was based on their averaging 38 points per game and one of their reporters asked me do you think they’ll score 38 this week? I’m like, 'No. The best defense in the league’s coming to town. There’s no way you’re scoring 38. I don’t believe that."

Lions guard Rob Sims said that the whole thing was just part of Ryan's routine.

"I think Rex does that cause everybody expects him to do that, so it’s not nothing that we feed into like, 'I can't believe he said that,'" Sims said. "I really don’t think it’s that serious. We’re confident. We think (Calvin Johnson is) the best receiver in football. We're not afraid to say anything like that."

The Jets and Lions will settle the argument on Sunday in Detroit.

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