Chicago Sun-Times

Rex Ryan talks about old days with Bears

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Rex Ryan talked about the old days, when he was a ball boy for the Bears and his father Buddy was the team's controversial defensive coordinator.

"All through high school I was a ball boy," Ryan said. "I remember painting sleds and goal posts and that kind of stuff. You name it, we did it all, my brother and I.

"Walter Payton, as you guys who covered the Bears back then would know, was such a tremendous person that I actually named my oldest son after Walter. It's "Payton" spelled the appropriate way. It was just some amazing times. To watch that team, they were average, they were always tougher than nails, but then when they got the quarterback in place with Jim McMahon and all that, and to watch them win that Super Bowl --- I was on the sideline for that game --- what a great feeling."

It's amazing how many people associated with that team have went on to successful coaching careers, especially when you count Rex and his brother Rob, who is the defensive coordinator with the Browns.

"It's amazing, isn't it? Rex Ryan said. "You look at Ron Riveria. They are only leading the league in defense in San Diego. Then obviously, with Leslie Frazier, Mike Singletary and Jeff Fisher, it's really something. A lot of stems from Mike Ditka and the type of leader he was. Sometimes he's underrated because he's such a tough guy but he's a hell of a coach and a heck of a leader."

Ryan said if people say his coaching style is similar to his father's he would consider it a compliment, although he tries to go his own way.

"I don't try to go out and be my father," he said. "I'm just myself. That's the way any successful coach has to be. You just have to go be yourself and believe in yourself. The reason I've been successful throughout my career and here with the Jets is the people I'm with. Obviously, it starts with the players and then it goes to the coaches you're around. I've got a staff right here that I think is a tremendous coaching staff, and these guys don't coach for me they coach with me. I can't believe I'm around such quality people. It's going to be hard for me not to succeed."

Ryan said an MRI performed Monday on Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez's sore right throwing shoulder revealed no damage.

"I expect him to practice," Ryan said. "He'll be limited. I think today he's still sore but I expect him to practice as the week goes on and he'll definitely play. When we got the MRI, basically, we feel really good that he'll play this week.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on December 22, 2010 10:31 AM.

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