The former outspoken head coach in the Big Apple is headed for a career in television.
Rex Ryan will join ESPN’s “Sunday Night Countdown” desk signing a multi-year deal. His signing comes before the network’s anticipated shakeup where well known personalities on camera, as well as behind the scenes crew, will be let go on contract buy-outs.
Ryan was fired by the Buffalo Bills December 27, 2016 during his second seasons as head coach, 2015-16. Prior, he served as head coach of the New York Jets from 2009-14 where he reached the AFC Championship game in his first two seasons in 2009 and 2010. He holds an overall 65-68 career record, including four road playoff wins.
Before singing with ESPN he held a similar gig on the show during the networks Super LI coverage. Prior to making his debut appearance he interviewed with NY Daily News talking about his departure with the Bills and testing television.
“I’ll be honest: I don’t wish them good luck. I don’t wish them bad luck. I just don’t wish them luck. I wish the Jets luck,” Ryan said.
Disappointed that he was fired the game before he wrapped up his second season he quickly repainted his Bills truck to Clemson colors. His son, Seth, played for the Clemson Tigers football program that won the NCAA Division I National Title last season. Fired with three years left on his contract has given him some feel good money.
“I’m really not that bitter and maybe that $15 million is one of the reasons,” Ryan said.
With an appearance that was much like an audition for ESPN in front of him, Ryan wasn’t going to dwell on the Bills situation.
“I got an opportunity in front of me that a lot of guys don’t get. I’m going to see where it takes me,” Ryan said. “Maybe this a different career and I really enjoy it. I’m hoping that’s the way it is…maybe I go back to doing something I love, which is coaching. I’ll never say never.”
His first outing during Super Bowl LI’s “Sunday Night Countdown” segment was good enough for ESPN to call him back for a multi year deal.
Not being on the football field coaching still feels weird for Ryan, who coached for decades as a coordinator before becoming a head coach.
“It felt weird the last Sunday of the season when I wasn’t on the sideline for the first time in 30 years,” Ryan said. “That’s going to take a little getting used to, because you miss the work building up to it. There’s nothing like gameday. So, that was weird. The Bills were playing the Jets and I was on a plane. And when I landed, I wanted to find out what the score was.
“The one thing about [being on TV] is that you don’t lose,” Ryan said. “You’ll remember every damn loss. But the wins? You don’t necessarily remember. So, it takes a lot out of you. I’m tired of getting fucked. Unless it’s a real situation, there’s no sense of getting into it again.”
By Gino Terrell