Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Players Quiet in the NFL this Preseason, But Not the Coaches

Normally preseason football comes with the usual headlines of holdouts, a little trash talk and a few training camp fights. This year is no different except for the fact that it is the coaches, not the players, who are splashed across front pages of newspapers all over the country.

The two most notable head honchos have been Rex Ryan of the Jets, and Tom Cable of the Raiders. Ryan has made a name for himself by calling out Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick, criticizing his former team and picking a fight with Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder.

Ryan and Crowder exchanged words for two days as the linebacker joked about the enthusiasm the new Jets’ coach had. Ryan didn’t hesitate to shoot back, stating he didn’t know who Crowder was until he made those comments. “I don’t know this Channing Crowder. All I know is he’s all tatted up, so I guess I ought to be nervous about him,” Ryan stated during a news conference. He also said that if he were younger he would “probably handle him myself.”

The war of words continued that night when Crowder was being interviewed by the Miami Herald and stated Ryan should know who the middle linebackers are in his own division. He added that he would “have beat the hell out of that big old joker. Or if he really wants to go retro, my daddy or my uncle could have handled him.” The following day Ryan proceeded to say, “I’ve walked over tougher guys going to a fight than Channing Crowder.”

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If that wasn’t enough entertainment for one week, Ryan set his sights on his former team. He not only used an expletive during a news conference that was televised live on the team website, but he ripped into the Ravens for giving a rookie No. 99. The number was that of former defensive end Michael McCrary, whom Ryan was close with in his time in Baltimore. “I am disappointed that they gave his jersey to some rookie who hasn’t proven (expletive),” Ryan said during the conference.

Not even the Patriots’ coach was safe as Ryan continued to run his mouth, talking about everyone and everything he could think of. Ryan initially stated that he “didn’t come to New York to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings,” during a radio broadcast. He later clarified that he was just letting everyone know that he is not afraid of his rivals’ coaching staff.

Luckily for Ryan, the Oakland Raiders stole a few headlines this week as Coach Cable reportedly sucker-punched one of his assistants during a practice.. The fight put assistant coach Randy Hanson in the Queen of the Valley Hospital for a possible broken jaw.

The league is investigating the incident and the coaching staff, along with the players, has been pretty tight-lipped on exactly what happened during the scuffle. All of this drama should make for a pretty good season, and to think, we haven’t even heard much from actual players like Terrell Owens or Chad Johnson yet.

Written By Brian Radewitz