Aug 10, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan congratulates Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis at the end of the game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
It only took over half-a-day for the national media to pick up on a quote that Jets head coach Rex Ryan provided after the Bengals 17-6 win over New York late Friday night. Regardless the New York Post quoted the story in one of their postgame reports (which mentions Tim Tebow's name 15 times compared to Mark Sanchez five times, four in the final paragraph), Jets head coach Rex Ryan said:
"I know nobody’s worried about Wildcat and all that stuff. It’s real easy to stop," Ryan said sarcastically. "That’s why I got a call at 7 a.m. the day before we played by Marvin not wanting to see the Wildcat. I guess I’m the only guy who thinks it has a place in the NFL, me and every defensive coach in the league."
The thing is. We don't buy it. We think a far more reasonable explaination is that Ryan was telling a joke. A muse. A quip. Having a chuckle, a laugh, a crow, a snicker or a titter. Perhaps over-inflating the value of the wildcat for opposing AFC East teams to think about. Have we ever been gullible enough to absorb 100 percent of a coach's comment and write the word "fact" next to it? No. In fact coaches in the NFL tend to be one of the more dishonest professions, perhaps a few steps below elected officials in government. It's not an issue of morality; it's simple misdirection, a game of chess.
It just doesn't make sense. There's no reason for Lewis to refuse a look at the wildcat. Not with Joshua Cribbs in the division and Pittsburgh's historical obsession with gadget plays. Preseason games aren't about egomaniacal personalities. Wins and losses are just as meaningless as junk yardage in the final minutes of a game separated by 30 points. Lewis and the coaching staff wants evaluations, how players react to certain situations and how the team can adjust, putting those players in proper position to make the play when games count.
Heck we're not above it. Maybe there is truth to it. If so, maybe Lewis has enough pull to call John Harbaugh and ask, "please have Joe Flacco throw the football a lot." God knows the Bengals will be alright then.