INDIANAPOLIS - As you can see from the picture above, Rex Ryan is kind of a big deal.
You may remember that New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed a win before Super Bowl III, and then went out and delivered. That 1968 Jets team had a wonderful defense coached by Buddy Ryan. Buddy's son, Rex, has been the Jets' head coach for the last two seasons, and it seems that he's picked up a few things from the team dear old dad used to work for. Specifically, guaranteeing a Super Bowl win months before the 2011 season even starts (not that any of us know when it will actually start), and despite his team losing the last two AFC Championship games.
The video below features just a bit of Ryan's laser blast from the scouting combine on Thursday; the transcript of the full guarantee (which went on for about four minutes) is below the fold.
"I want to talk about is a more serious thing about when I mentioned I believe this is the year we're going to do it, I believe this is the year that we're going to win the Super Bowl. And the fact is I thought we'd win it the first two years, I guarantee we'll win it this year, and the reason I feel that way is this: I know we're an excellent football team. We got a great organization; we're the only team to go back to back in the final four, albeit we never got it done. But I know the kind of players we have, I know the players that we're going to have represent us, and the thing that I look at is this is not something that I just believe in, it's not what I want, it's what a whole bunch of people want, and that is from our players, the coaches, the entire organization and our fans. Our fans, our New York Jet fans want a Super Bowl, I feel it, I sense it, there's no doubt about it. I think it's my responsibility, now with that being said, I don't feel our fans on my shoulders, my players on my shoulders, or on my back and all that.
"I think it's just the opposite. I look at it this way, the reason I think we're going to win is we're going to lock arms and we're going to find a way to get it done. The players, coaches, fans, we are going to lock arms, and when we do, we're going to find a way and I believe it, I think that will be the difference. We have to play better at home. We were 5-3, our fans deserve better and you know what, I think we're going to figure it out. I think our fans, they're going to get on board and understand that their responsibility to our football team is let's get in there together and you can help us more than you'll ever know. And I think it's something that obviously you go in, we see the importance of for us, we've got to find a way to win our division and that's a heck of a lot easier said than done. But it's true. Why would you put yourself out there? Why? Because I believe, I believe we will be the team that wins it period, plain and simple. I'm not afraid to stand up here and say we're going to get it done. It's not just going to be because of my efforts, it's going to be from our team's efforts, our fans' efforts, our organization's efforts, that's why.
"And I know we're committed. You look at the journey Green Bay traveled to get it done. They did win three games on the road and found a way to get it done. But I know there's an easier solution, and that is for us to host a playoff game, and that's what our mission's going to be. Obviously New England is an outstanding opponent, had arguably the best team in the league, but we're going to find a way to get it done."
You have to love a coach with that much faith in his team -- that said, Ryan's going to have the usual tough battle through the AFC if he wants to make his dream come true. He does have a good point about the Jets' recent success; Ryan's just used to winning and he doesn't see anything wrong with making that abundantly clear.
"We made it to the AFC championship two years in a row when I think people predicted that we'd win six games a lot," Ryan said at the end of his presser. "So, I don't care what people think. I care what our organization believes and what our fans believe. WE'VE gotten better. I know we got to the same place last year. It might not appear that we got better. But I thought we got a lot better last year. I think if we can improve a little bit more, why not us? We did beat the team with the most wins (New England Patriots) in the playoffs. ... We're the only team to make the Final Four the last two years. Why wouldn't I be positive? ‘Hey guys, I'll be happy if we're 8-8.' That's the wrong guy standing in front of you. I'm always going to say the same thing. I believe we can be champs.
"Why wouldn't I believe it? Somebody tell me why I shouldn't believe that we deserve to be a champion. I just know how I feel."