Rex Ryan Tattoo: Jets Coach Must Step out of Spotlight and Let Players Shine

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2011

Rex Ryan's new tattoo is the talk of the NFL world today, but this is just continuing a trend that the flamboyant head coach has of overshadowing his team and the goals that they have for this upcoming season.

The New York Jets have become one of the best teams in the NFL over the last two seasons under Ryan's guidance and leadership. This team has made it to the AFC championship game the last two years with Ryan as head coach. It was the first time in franchise history that they won at least one playoff game in back-to-back seasons.

This team is poised to be a force in the AFC for many, many years to come thanks to Ryan and the way that he has been able to relate to these players and make all of them feel comfortable playing for him and giving it their all game in and game out.

But the antics are getting a little old.

At first, the talk was fine because Ryan was just a guy who was trying to make a name for himself and bring a little attitude and swagger back into a franchise that hadn't had anything to get excited about since the early days of the Chad Pennington era in the early 2000s.

As time went on, though, all the comments, quotes and press conferences became more important than what was happening on the field. Everyone was glued to their seats on Sunday afternoons just to hear what Ryan was going to say. The media couldn't wait to get its hands on Ryan because he was entertaining and unafraid.

Now, the antics are so expected from him that it almost feels like they are being forced just to keep this persona going as long as it possibly can.

This new tattoo is just the latest example of Ryan trying to become the story instead of letting his team, which is more than capable of winning a Super Bowl, be the story.

If all things are quiet, Ryan has to make some noise because he needs the attention.

The Philadelphia Eagles, who have as much reason as anyone to be verbose based on the way that things have gone this offseason, have not made a peep or said that they are going to win a Super Bowl because there is no reason to shill like that.

Ryan is a glory hog. He wants to be the guy that gets all the attention. It eats at him that people actually consider Bill Belichick a better head coach than him, which is why he uses a press conference to tell the world that it would be great if someone besides the Jets could beat the Patriots.

The bravado of Rex Ryan has made him a fan favorite in New York, but it's perfectly clear that all he wants is to be on the cover of magazines, own the headlines on ESPN and make millions of dollars in endorsement deals.

This new tattoo, which, according to Ryan, means "believe in yourself," is just the latest publicity stunt by a man who craves the publicity and spotlight so much that he is willing to take all the shine away from this Jets team as they prepare for a season filled with high expectations.