It is starting to look like Rob Ryan's vow to beat the "all-hype" team is going to have the staying power of the Gettysburg Address.
The comment from the summer has come up time and time again this week as the Cowboys prepare to face off with the Eagles, the presumed target of Ryan's broadside. DeSean Jackson is the latest member of the so-called Dream Team to share his thoughts about Ryan.
"For a coach to really say that, it's hard for me to kind of respect that because the coach is not really out there playing," Jackson said. "If his players said that, then I could understand that. We're out there on the field with him so I would be able to get a chance to get a shot at that player if he said something crazy. But for a coach, it ain't like I can run on the sideline and tackle the coach.
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Credit Ryan with winning the game of distractions.
This must have been something that Buddy Ryan taught at the breakfast table, because Rex Ryan has done the same thing since becoming Jets coach. All of the talking by the coach serves as a distraction from focusing on the players, shielding them from questions about anything having to do with football and making everything about words that will ultimately have no bearing on the outcome of the game.
It is easy to understand why players like playing for coaches like that. Instead of falling all over themselves to compliment the opposition like so many other coaches, the Ryans make it all about them and their teams even if they run the risk of greater criticism if they can't back up the big talk.
The part that is hard to understand is why it infuriates players like Jackson so much. He's right, the coach isn't on the field playing the game, but then shouldn't it be just as frustrating when the coach says something nice about you or your teammates? Coaches talk and either it is all meaningless noise or it is all meaningful. Picking and choosing just reveals an unhealthy level of sensitivity.
If Jackson or any other Eagle wants to take issue with being labeled "all-hype," the response is pretty simple. Win games and it isn't hype. They were more than happy to feed the beast before the season, so they can't really take issue with it at this point in time. By even thinking about it, they're proving Ryan right for doing it because he's created a distraction for his opponent at the absolute worst moment.
If anyone should hate Ryan for making his comments about beating up on the "all-hype" team, it should be the Cowboys themselves. He was raising expectations for them in their games against a divisional rival before they had much idea what kind of team they had on their hands. The defense has turned out to be very good, but a loss will leave them looking just as bad as they did after the Lions game when Calvin Johnson made a mockery of Ryan's attempt to mock him.