Rex Ryan is often criticized for being, among other things, arrogant. Before the 2011-12 season he guaranteed a Super Bowl victory for his New York Jets, a claim that in hindsight was a little off. It may be that Ryan really isn't that cocky, however. Perhaps he just has trouble from keeping his feelings guarded whenever a microphone pops up in front of his face.
Take his comments at the 2012 NFL Combine on Thursday, for example. Ryan apologized effusively for his guarantee, calling it a "huge mistake" and taking responsibility for the undue pressure it put on his team. It was a humbling moment, and certainly a side of Ryan we haven't seen in a while.
Comments after the jump.
"I know what you're all thinking -- the return to the infamous Super Bowl guarantee. It was [done] here," Ryan said at the annual NFL scouting combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. "In all seriousness, looking back, obviously it was a huge mistake to make that guarantee. At the time, we were coming off two championship games. I really thought it would be a thing that would actually motivate our team, to really talk about the Super Bowl, focus on the Super Bowl, but in hindsight I think it put undue pressure on our team. We kind of lost focus and really we lost focus on what we do best.
"Obviously, it was a big mistake," he added. "I go back, and look at it, and I think it contributed to the season we had. Realistically, it's something I've been thinking about a great deal and obviously we had a terrible season. I'll take full responsibility for it. I think part of that guarantee really contributed to that."
Expect Ryan to keep his mouth closed before this offseason. That's a good thing for the Jets as they look to regroup and make their back for the playoffs. Unfortunately for the rest of us, it means the six-month layoff from football will be a little more dull this year.