Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez will be forever linked.
In our memories, anyway.
The New York Jets finally parted ways with their embattled former starting quarterback this month, and now the team's coach is talking about altering the tattoo on his arm that currently features a woman wearing Sanchez's No. 6 jersey.
Surely, that design seemed like a great idea at the time. Well, maybe not. But it's even sillier now. A reporter asked Ryan about the ink Tuesday, and the coach seemed to decide its fate right there on the spot.
"The tattoo is still there," Ryan said. "It was my tattoo, and it's still my tattoo . . . I may alter it, who knows? I may put 75 on it and honor Winston Hill. I think that's the idea. That's what I'm going to do."
Hill is an eight-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman who spent 14 of his 15 pro football seasons with the Jets in the 1960s and '70s.
Ryan drafted Sanchez fifth overall in the 2009 draft, the coach's first with the Jets. In their first two seasons together, the two men took the team to back-to-back AFC championship games.
But the former USC quarterback struggled the following two seasons, as did the team, and he didn't play at all in 2013 after being injured in the preseason.
Ryan said he "absolutely" thinks Sanchez could still be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
"I think the best judge of quarterbacks is probably their record," Ryan said. "His win-loss record is not by fluke. The guy has talent. The big thing about Mark, when he learns to protect the football better, that's probably the thing that's missing more than anything."
Ryan added: "I think it's good for him that he moves on and he'll have a chance to start again. He had success here. I'm sure he's got some great memories here and some great moments, and that's more than a lot of people can say. ... He had some big wins here, a lot of come-from-behind wins, things like that that he can be really proud of.
ALSO:Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times