Brash Ryan leads Jets resurgence
There is a common misconception when it comes to NFL head coaches. The assumption often made is that they are well-trained in how to deal with the media and therefore offer up more colourful quotes than their counterparts in the soccer world.
I beg to differ - try sitting through one of Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid's media conferences as he grunts an array of one-word answers and truncated sentences and you'll be crying out to go and watch some paint dry.
American football head coaches can be just as guilty of spewing out classics such as "we're taking it one game at a time" or "they are a fantastic team and we really respect them."
It can all become a little mind-numbing and that's why New York Jets rookie head coach Rex Ryan is a breath of fresh air.
He is the son of former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator and Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals head coach Buddy Ryan.
Now, Buddy is still going strong - I saw him at Jets' mini camp in New York in June - and he is loving the brash way his son is going about his business in the NFL. Ryan senior was a walking controversy - he once called a time out with just seconds remaining so he could run up the score and inflict further pain on the Dallas Cowboys and it was even alleged he put a bounty on Dallas players during one game in the 1990s.
And he loved to tell everyone how good he was. The only time he was momentarily silenced was when he choked on a pork chop in a restaurant and it nearly killed him.
Rex Ryan is cut from the same cloth. He arrived in New York to a packed media conference room and said he expected a bigger crowd of journalists when he sat there with the Super Bowl trophy in the near future.
He also told the media he didn't come to New York to "kiss Bill Belichick's rings" - the New England Patriots coach's Super Bowl rings, obviously - and he challenged Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder to a fight.
As well as being a defensive genius, Ryan is a man who doesn't take himself too seriously and he's not afraid to put himself in the spotlight. And his players love him for it - they would run through a wall for him and they also realise he has complete faith in them.
So far, it has paid off as the Jets have opened the year 2-0, including a big win over the Patriots. What Ryan has done a great job of is taking the focus and pressure off his players by putting himself in the firing line.
Rex Ryan has taken a lot of the pressure off rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez
That approach has worked particularly well with rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez, who should be whipping the New York media into a frenzy with his fabulous start to life in the NFL.
Yet every time they turn their attention to Sanchez, Ryan comes up with another classic quote and shifts the focus away from the players. Unlike his father, who felt the need to be in the spotlight all the time, I think Rex is doing this for the good of his team and not for his own profile.
There may be trouble ahead for Ryan and the Jets, however, as the San Francisco 49ers have filed tampering charges against them. The Jets have, it is claimed, approached rookie receiver Michael Crabtree, who is holding out on the 49ers for a mega-bucks deal, and told him they will give him all the cash he wants in 2010 if they can draft him or trade for his rights at that time.
Legend has it that British football managers of old exchanged dodgy-looking brown paper envelopes in service stations. I doubt that sort of thing has happened off the New Jersey Turnpike, but this is something the NFL will look closely at.
For the time being, though, things are looking good for Ryan and his Jets.
You can catch Neil commentating on an NFL game every Sunday on BBC 5 live sports extra throughout the season.(UK users only).