Jets coach Rex Ryan uses expletive, upset Ravens gave McCrary’s No. 99 jersey to rookie

By Dennis Waszak Jr., AP
Monday, August 17, 2009

Rex Ryan upset Ravens gave McCrary’s 99 to rookie

CORTLAND, N.Y. — A sharp-tongued Rex Ryan might have provided a Baltimore Ravens rookie with some extra motivation.

Toward the end of his training camp news conference Monday, the New York Jets’ brash coach was speaking glowingly about Baltimore’s defensive tradition when he mentioned former defensive end Michael McCrary.

“I am disappointed that they gave his jersey to some rookie who hasn’t proven” anything, said Ryan, using an expletive. “Excuse my language.”

With a big grin, Ryan looked over at a cringing Bruce Speight, the team’s senior director of public relations, and said, “Sorry, Bruce.”

The 26-minute news conference was streamed live on the team’s official Web site.

McCrary, a two-time Pro Bowl selection who retired after 2002, wore No. 99 — which was given to second-round pick Paul Kruger, a linebacker-defensive end out of Utah. McCrary, inducted into the Ravens’ Ring of Honor in 2004, played the last six seasons of his 10-year NFL career with Baltimore and worked closely with Ryan, then a defensive assistant.

“It was disappointing,” Ryan said. “I’m not coaching that team, so that’s their decision.”

The teams play at Baltimore next Monday night, when rookie Mark Sanchez makes his first NFL start.

Ryan, the son of former NFL coach Buddy Ryan, is no stranger to having his comments make news. A few seconds into his introductory news conference in January, Ryan talked about how the Jets would make it to the Super Bowl in a few years and meet President Barack Obama. He also declared that his team would be the most physical in the NFL.

During the offseason, he also got into a playful — and entertaining — daily exchange with Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder. Ryan also declared that he didn’t come to New York to “kiss Bill Belichick’s rings,” saying he wasn’t intimidated by the idea of facing the New England Patriots at least twice a season.

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