Commentary

12 things: Defending Rex Ryan

Time for the world to respect and embrace the Jets' embattled head coach

Updated: August 20, 2010, 2:48 PM ET
By David Fleming | ESPN The Magazine
Rex RyanAP Photo/Kevin RivoliRex Ryan is all smiles these days despite the spotlight that's shining on him.

Every Friday through the Super Bowl, David Fleming will check in with 12 things about the NFL. This week, he shares his responses to all the ill will generated toward outspoken Jets coach Rex Ryan.

1. Let's start with Dallas linebacker Keith Brooking.

According to a recent radio interview Brooking says he's not a "big fan of all that chatter" coming from Rex. Why? Because, Brooking says, Rex and the Jets haven't really accomplished all that much.

I guess taking a team to the AFC title game with a rookie quarterback and building the No. 1 defense in the NFL and winning a Super Bowl in 2000 with the Ravens and being the D-line coach for one of the game's most dominant defenses ever doesn't qualify in Brooking's mind as big enough accomplishments. Brooking, who finished tied for 108th in sacks and 41st in solo tackles last season, said he's "more of a show-me guy."

Right. Got it. This coming from the guy who, while playing for the Cowboys last season -- a team that hadn't won a playoff game in 13 years -- would work himself into a spastic, bug-eyed, incoherent lather before kickoff while shouting stuff like "We're gonna hit 'em in the mouth! We're gonna bloody their nose! We're gonna knock 'em to the ground!"

I haven't heard this kind of hypocrisy since Bama coach Nick Saban called player agents "pimps." Both Brooking and Ryan talk a lot of junk. Nothing wrong with that. But, it seems to me, only one of them backs it up.