New York Jets coach Rex Ryan rehashes finger mistake and pokes fun at gut

BY Ohm Youngmisuk

Sunday, February 28th 2010, 12:17 AM

INDIANAPOLISRex Ryan flashed his smile, delivered his deadpan punchlines to perfection and had dozens of smitten national reporters cracking up.

Just about the only thing the charismatic Jets coach didn’t do Saturday during his press conference at the NFL scouting combine was flip his now infamous finger or flash his widely-seen stomach. However, Ryan did talk about both offseason incidents for the first time in depth.

“Regardless of the circumstances, I made a mistake and I realized that,” Ryan said of his flipping the bird at a fan during a mixed martial arts event in Florida prior to the Super Bowl. “I have made a bunch of mistakes in my life. just add that to a big list. But I have to take responsibility for my own actions and make sure I am doing the right things. I will learn from it. I am no Boy Scout and I don’t pretend to be. But I am certainly trying to mature a little bit more.”

The first-year head coach was fined $50,000 by the Jets shortly after the incident. Ryan did not want to go into details about what happened that night that led to his inappropriate gesture, even though a writer who was with the coach said Ryan was repeatedly verbally harassed and provoked by a fan.

Ryan did make fun of himself when it came to his wardrobe malfunction at a Carolina-Florida hockey game when he unintentionally flashed his bare stomach to the home crowd on the big screen while changing into a Hurricanes jersey.

“Hey, I am working on those abs a little bit, I think,” Ryan cracked. “The problem that happened with that wardrobe … I thought I had the fighting strap attached to the t-shirt. Apparently I didn’t. Big mistake.”

“I am watching ESPN and I’m like, ‘Oh! That is not a real good shot,'” he added while laughing at himself. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I get hit on all the time by women. But nah, it is kind of funny. But that is just who I am. I am still going to take the train into the city and I am still going to go to sporting events even though it seems like I mess up all the time.”

Ryan did watch what he said when it came to players the Jets can trade for, such as Raiders lockdown cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who has stated his desire to play for the Jets.

“I get myself in enough trouble,” Ryan said of commenting on players on other teams such as Asomugha and San Diego cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who reportedly is on the trading block. “So I really don’t need your help to get me in trouble.”

Like Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum the day before, Ryan also praised running back Thomas Jones, who has long been expected to be released barring a late change. Jones will have to rework a deal that will pay him a $3 million bonus to go along with $2.8 million salary he is supposed to be paid this season.

“He is a great player, there are tough decisions that our organization is going to be faced with,” Ryan said. “Ideally going into this season, we were wanting to really have that one-two-three punch with Thomas, Shonn Greene and Leon Washington.”

Ryan also said he wants to play former first-round pick Vernon Gholston more this season, and he expects wide receiver Braylon Edwards to participate in offseason workouts with the team.

As for himself, he’s going to remain the same brash Rex – except one that behaves a bit better.

“I am going to be who I am and be true to myself and that is the way it is going to be as long as I am a coach,” Ryan said.

LOVE LEON TENDER: Washington’s agent will meet with Tannenbaum on Sunday. The Jets are expected to offer a second-round tender. Despite Washington coming off a broken leg, it is believed that other teams will check the running back out. any team that wants to sign Washington will have to surrender a second-round pick if the Jets tender a second-round offer.- with Rich Cimini

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan rehashes finger mistake and pokes fun at gut

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