The most entertaining NFL coach of this generation is taking his talents to Bristol.
The Daily News has learned that ESPN signed Rex Ryan to a multi-year deal to be on Sunday NFL Countdown.
The iconoclastic former Jets and Bills coach appeared on the show on Super Bowl Sunday last month before going all-in with the World Wide Leader.
Ryan’s football insight coupled with his candor should provide an intriguing dimensions to ESPN’s top pregame show.
His Xs and Os breakdown of how he would have covered Falcons All-Pro Julio Jones in Super Bowl LI was a glimpse of what he’ll be able to offer. His charisma and tell-it-like-is style will resonate with viewers.
“I got an opportunity in front of me that a lot of guys don’t get,” Ryan told the Daily News in January in the run-up to his ESPN appearance on Super Bowl Sunday. “I’m going to see where it takes me. Maybe this a different career and I really enjoy it. I’m hoping that’s the way it is. Maybe I get into (it) and I don’t like it. Maybe they don’t like me. Maybe I go back to doing something I love, which is coaching. I’ll never say never. I’m a young guy still. … I’m healthy. But bitter? Nah. Not bitter, man. I’m really not.”
Ryan, who still has about $16.5 million owed to him on the final three years of his Buffalo contract, could carve out a long-time role in television if he wants. TV executives were vying for his services after the Jets fired him after the 2014 season.
Ryan was unceremoniously dumped by the Bills less than two years into his blockbuster five-year deal. His decision not to bench starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor for the season finale against the Jets was the final straw. (The Bills, by the way, ultimately decided to keep Ryan’s quarterback of choice on a restructured deal).
Ryan, who has more playoff wins (four) than any coach in Jets history, went to back-to-back AFC Championship Games in his first two seasons before missing the playoffs in his final four. He went 50-52 in six years before being replaced by Todd Bowles.
Ryan told the News in January that he hasn’t abandoned his goal to hoist the Lombardi Trophy as a head coach, but admitted that he wants a legitimate opportunity to succeed after the Bills prematurely pulled the plug on him.
“The one thing about (being on TV) is that you don’t lose,” Ryan told the News in January. “You’ll remember every damn loss. But the wins? You don’t necessarily remember. So, it takes a lot out of you. I’m tired of getting f—ked. Unless it’s a real situation, there’s no sense of getting into it again.”
In the meantime, he’ll share stories and provide analysis to the viewing audience.
If Ryan is himself, he’s destined to be a hit.
Published at Fri, 17 Mar 2017 18:07:40 +0000