Rex Ryan has many flaws as a head coach, motivating his players is not one of them.
According to former Jets running back Ladainian Tomlinson Rex Ryan once told his team that he would punch Patriots head coach Bill Belicheck in the face in order to get his team fired up for the game.
“We were playing the Patriots one time, and as I mentioned, Rex is a master motivator,” Tomlinson said. “It was going to be a big game, a heated rivalry game, and Rex got in front of us, he said, ‘I’m going to set the tempo today, guys,’ he said, ‘I’m going to set the tempo when I meet Bill Belichick in the center of the field, I’m gonna start it off and punch him in the face. I loved it.”
Tomlinson, speaking on NFL Network Tuesday, also called Ryan a “master motivator” who “really new how to pump up his teams and get them ready to play.” Tomlinson didn’t mention a particular game so it’s tough to know if the tactic even worked. In his two years with the Jets he played against the Patriots five times; he won two and lost three.
There is no doubt that Rex Ryan knows how to get a team ready for a big game, even if his tactics are sometimes slightly odd.
It takes more than a motivational speech to defeat the New England Patriots, but to be safe Bill Belicheck might want to watch his back on Thursday night, as the Jets will need to use every trick in Ryan’s book to pull off a win in New England.