Jets' Rex Ryan To Start Sunday vs. the New England Patriots: Fact or Fiction?

Rick WeaverCorrespondent IJanuary 11, 2011

Rex the Islander preparing  to get personal with a Ranger
Rex the Islander preparing to get personal with a RangerBruce Bennett/Getty Images

The last time sports fans saw a player-coach who was anywhere near as heavy as Rex Ryan actually play in a game was when Pete Rose led the Reds into action as both a manager and a player. 

From what I understand, Rex Ryan must have played some position on the defensive line last week as he sacked Peyton Manning to help the Jets garner a victory that would propel them to face the New England Patriots.

Now, like an aging prize fighter calling out a young champion, the NFL playoffs find Ryan calling out none other than the AARP eligible Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick.  Will the future hall of famer, Belichick, be a taker?  

I really have a hard time seeing the Patriots head coach lining up to take the handoff and then juking Ryan as he high steps for a touchdown.  Now I guess I could imagine the 300-pound Rex Ryan, pulling a Nick Fairley move out of the bag and driving the older Belichick head first into the frozen field.

However, Ryan is doing what Ryan does.  He is making it all about himself.  The HBO series Hard Knocks could just of easily been called let's watch the 300-pounder drop enough "F" enough to make a...lady of the evening blush.

I mean really, Rex!  The show was all about you getting Revis to get to training camp and giving up the holdout.

The real reason behind this "it's personal" routine is because Rex likes to play games with the language of our time. Rex Ryan is simply deflecting here. Ryan knows he is facing the league's highest scoring offense who painted 45 points on his Jets just a month ago. 

The way it all works is, Rex takes the heat and questions off of his team.  A team with a young quarterback, now if the team wins Rex can grab a few headlines again. If the Jets lose, then Rex can be seen as falling on the sword for his young quarterback, and what is more respected than a football martyr. 

Yes, Mark Sanchez is no Tom Brady and honestly Sanchez is not even a good Chad Pennington. But what Sanchez has that Pennington did not have is an amazing offensive line that opens huge holes for the league's best rushing attack. Sanchez also has a great defense and a solid special teams unit.

Now if Rex Ryan wants any chance to defeat Bill Belichick's team Sunday, then all of his team's pieces must be working like clockwork because you can bet the league's No. 1 scoring offense will be. 

If by chance the Jets sputter then we all get to hear the post game "presser" where we are told how those are the best 53 men on the planet and how the loss was all his fault for not getting his team ready after personally defeating Peyton Manning.