Rex Ryan's sense of humor is still going strong.
Despite a 3-11 record and facing an uncertain future, the New York Jets coach has kept the one-liners and self-deprecating jokes coming. He refuses to pout, even if Sunday's game against the New England Patriots might be his last at home with the team.
“I'm just going to be myself,” he said Friday. “I'm not dead yet. I'm always going to be me and that's just my personality. That's just who I am every day. Regardless of the good times, the bad times, or whatever, I think I'm consistent that way.”
Ryan has been in relatively good spirits this week, cracking jokes about himself, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. That's all while possibly facing his final days with a franchise he's led for the last six seasons.
“No, I haven't thought about that at all,” Ryan said. “I thought you were going to ask me what I thought of Belichick.”
Ryan famously declared soon after he was hired by the Jets in 2009 that he didn't come to New York to kiss the Patriots coach's rings. Under Ryan, the Jets are 4-8 against Belichick, including a playoff victory during the 2010 season, but the Patriots have won the AFC East title every year during that span.
So, for Ryan, mission not accomplished. But just because he has tried — and mostly failed — to beat Belichick, that doesn't mean he dislikes the Patriots coach.
“I probably think he's a lot better coach than he thinks I am, I think that's safe to say,” a smiling Ryan said. “We'd like everybody to think that we don't like each other, but that's not the facts. He's not somebody that you can hang out with or something like that, at least I don't. We're cordial. Anytime we see each other off the field or we talk to each other, it's just the opposite of what people think.”
Rams players help at Ferguson holiday event
The St. Louis Rams players who did the “Hands Up, Don't Shoot” gesture treated residents of nearby Ferguson to some holiday cheer on Friday.
Tight end Jared Cook and wide receivers Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Stedman Bailey and Chris Givens donated $10,000 and participated in the inaugural holiday event co-sponsored by the St. Louis Urban League.
The players scoured racks of coats for kids, searching for the right sizes, and posed for photos and signed hundreds of autographs.
“We just want to give back to the community,” Britt said. “Hopefully, this is not just a one-year deal. Hopefully, we keep it going.”
Arizona Coach Bruce Arians says quarterback Drew Stanton might suit up against Seattle on Sunday night but would not start. At best, Arians said, Stanton could back up starter Ryan Lindley. … Minnesota Vikings and former UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr will have minor surgery on his knee to address an injury that has kept him out of the last two games. Coach Mike Zimmer said that Barr won't play again this season. … DeMarco Murray is listed as questionable against Indianapolis after the NFL rushing leader did some work in practice this week for Dallas with a broken left hand. …
The Buffalo Bills have activated running back C.J. Spiller from injured reserve. Spiller returned to the active roster Friday after missing the last eight weeks because of a broken collarbone. … Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe missed his third straight day of practice because of the flu Friday and is questionable for Sunday's pivotal game at Pittsburgh. The Seattle Seahawks are continuing efforts to keep core players from reaching free agency, signing defensive end Cliff Avril to a four-year extension Friday worth up to $28.5 million.