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Transcript from conference call with Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 9, 2010

Browns Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan conference call 11-9-10

(On if it has already started getting ugly as Rex Ryan had said)- “He drew first blood. There’s a rumor that there’s a picture and I did see it so it is a fact, that some blow darts have hit a picture of Eric (Mangini), Colt (McCoy) and then I have about 14 of them on me. I am taking offense to it and we are going to have some retaliatory reactions coming up later in the week (joking).”

(On how close he is to Rex and how often they talk) -- “We talk all the time. We are as close as you can be. Like I say, I don’t think there is any pair of brothers closer than we are. We had our own language when we were kids growing up. If you fought one of us you had to be real tough because you had to fight both of us. I don’t think we ever lost any fights because (heck) we were always two on one or whatever it was. We found a way to win. We are extremely close. Again, we talk probably daily.”

(On if he and his brother have any differences as football coaches) -- “Tony (Grossi), I’d like to say I’ve put the numbers up that Rex has, but I haven’t. He’s been statistically probably the best Ryan that has ever coached. His stats have been unbelievable. My dad put up great numbers. I’ve put up great numbers. In college, I used to always put up better numbers than any of us. Pros, I’ve been in the top-three one time as a coordinator, but there’s a lot that goes into that. We weren’t exactly moving the ball real well in Oakland so you are out there a whole a lot. Shoot, we all know how to coach football and I think we are all great coaches.”

(On if they have any differences philosophically as coaches) -- “I don’t think so. I think we know the source of the passing game which we learned from our father. He learned from Weeb Eubank and Y.A. Tittle. The source of that passing that is the quarterback. You do your best to disrupt them whether it be hitting them on every play and blitzing them or trying to confusing them with multiple coverages. You have to do a good job on the quarterback to slow down anybody’s pass offense that includes today’s game.”

(On if he has been overlooked as a head coaching candidate because he had been with some bad offenses) -- “I’m not sure if that’s the reason. Really none of us, including my father, if you look and paint a picture of a head coach, you usually have got some pretty boy nowadays. I don’t think me, Rex or my dad for that matter are male models by any stretch, but we are (darn) good football coaches. Whatever it is, that’s how it is and that’s just the way it goes.”

(On why players like playing for Rex so much) -- “I think the biggest thing is Rex is genuine. He doesn’t lie. He doesn’t put up a front. He is who he is. He’s a great person. I think everybody he meets, love Rex. He’s just always had that infectious personality. The biggest thing is nowadays we coach men’s football and the best thing to do is be yourself with all the flaws that you have and all that. People can try to sugar code things and move around them but I believe what Rex does best is he is direct with his players. He tells them the truth, not necessarily what they want to hear but it’s the truth. It’s easier to deal with human beings doing that. I had to deal with Warren Sapp and that’s by far the best policy. They can come back at you pretty hard but the bottom line is at least you are who you are. To me, that’s the best policy. My father always installed that in us, always be honest.”

(On his thoughts about the criticism Rex took for his langue on Hard Knocks) -- “I never even noticed it. I never noticed the language but then I heard all the criticism. I’m just glad they weren’t here in Cleveland (joking).”

(On if Braylon Edwards’ quotes about returning to Cleveland will motivate his defense) -- “I haven’t seen them to be honest with you.  We’ve been busy at work, but Braylon is a super talented guy, (heck) their whole offense is.  You look at Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, this Dustin Keller and they have got these great backs and there’s a rumor they have got L.T. (LaDainian Tomlinson).  You know all of my focus will be on him because I don’t know if I’ve ever beat him.  I don’t know what Braylon said, I know he’s a good person.  I don’t know if he’s taking any pot shots at Cleveland or anything, but I thought that left town when LeBron (James) left.”

(On if he and his brother accepted jobs in the food service industry when they were younger to appease to their father, even though they both knew they only wanted to coach) -- “I think that’s been misquoted.  We never accepted those, I think he accepted them for us.  (Heck) no, we weren’t going to do that, we never cared.  We’re football coaches and at one time, my whole goal was just to be able to have my own trailer, live in that and coach football.  That was my life’s ambition, but apparently that’s grown now.  My wife is definitely on track with a new role for me, she wasn’t real big on that trailer deal.  Honest to God, that’s how we look at things.  We’ve always been destined to be football coaches.”

(On what age he and his brother knew they were going to follow their father into coaching) -- “Right when we moved in with him right before high school.  That was what we saw, we knew he was very successful and he was always our idol growing up.  We idolized our dad and loved what he was doing.  The things is, we are both smart guys and my older brother is a lawyer, so I guess we are all three smart.  It’s something we always wanted to do.  We loved the strategy of the game, we loved dealing with humans and not necessarily computers.  It’s always been right up our alley and it’s a great life.  It’s a tough life, you have got to move around a lot, but it’s been a great business for us and it’s been a great business for our entire family.”

(On if he moved in with his dad in high school) -- “Actually before that.  It was about seventh grade.  My mom and dad are divorced, so we moved in.  I think the Ryans were kind of running roughshod on Canada, so we had to move.  We moved in and got a little discipline, so that ended up helping us a little bit.  Our lives kind of changed when we moved in with my father, that’s for sure.”

(On if his relationship with Rex will change this week leading up to the game) -- “We talk early in the week, but usually we stop talking to each other later in the week out of respect for the game.  We know he’s going to get our best shot and we know we’re going to get his.  It will be a great game and hopefully it’s not one of those games like when he was the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma and I was defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State and we squared off.  We ended up winning that game and tore down the goal post, but by the end of it we were trying to convince everybody that we were the offensive coordinators, not the defensive coordinators.”

(On if he would like to be on the same coaching staff with his brother some day) -- “We were together.  I think we were second in the league in defense, which was a (darn) travesty because we thought we would be first for sure, both of us working there, but we were second.  It was great.  Obviously, it’s great to work with your brother, but again we are creating paths for ourselves and it’s also great to coach against him.  We are always together.  Any chance we can go to the Senior Bowl or the Combine, we are always together nonstop, 24/7.”

(On if his brother’s success as a head coach might help him out down the road) -- “I hope it does.  We’ve coached for a long time and like I say, Rex was the best assistant coach in football for about five years in a row, but he never got a job.  I don’t think this job, being a head coach, is something that you have to hire some guy that is going to stand up there and bore the (heck) out of you.  I think it’s good that you get somebody fresh that is exciting, is energetic and you see his team.  I think they’re an energetic team.  I know he’s been thinking that they would be undefeated at this time, but they still do have the best record in football.  They’re doing a great job and they’re a very well coached team, but they also have some fun too.”

(On if his father was shocked with anything he or Rex have done or said) -- “My dad?  No.  Me and Rex have said that about him before, but absolutely not.  He knows who we are, he raised two good sons and now we are grown men so we can say what we want to say.”

(On where they were when he moved in with his father) -- “That was in Minnesota.”

(On if they have enough emotion left to play in a second consecutive game against a team which the Browns have so many ties to) -- “Oh yes, we are just starting.  I think we are starting to turn the corner with our team.  We beat New Orleans and we beat New England in the last two weeks.  I believe that makes us 7-5 over the last 12 games.  Our team is definitely on the upswing, we are looking to keep going and to do better things.  I really think it’s a credit to Eric (Mangini), our entire team and all the players that we are all working hard together and we are starting to go in the right direction.”

(On if he has a favorite story about himself and his brother) -- “I’ll tell you one of Rex’s favorites.  When we were playing baseball and he was a big time home run hitter, and I was a pretty good player myself, we were playing against the number one pitcher in Chicago.  This kid struck him out the first time, hit me on an 0-2 pitch in the middle of the back because I hit his dad before with a fungo bat, so the kid paid me back.  The next time up, and there were pro scouts in the stands and everything, Rex has got two fastballs by him, which nobody ever snuck a fastball by him.  He’s like, ‘Just a second, time out.’  He was only playing with one contact lens, so he goes in and goes, ‘Rob give me your left contact.’  I give it to him and he plucks it in his eye and goes up and smashes a home run.  I think the thing is still going, I think they found it in Cuba somewhere.  He comes out and he circles the bases and comes in with a big smile on his face and goes, ‘Do you want that contact back?’  I’m like, ‘Nah, you can keep it.’  I think that was our best story right there.”

(On Mark Sanchez) -- “I tell you what, he’s been really impressive on the tapes I’ve been watching.  They have so many weapons around him, that guy looks like his confidence keeps getting better and better.  I know he’s had a couple of rough outings, especially last year, but even the game against Green Bay they dropped like nine or 10 passes on him.  I really think he’s one of their stars and it looks like, to me, that he’s getting better each week.”

(On who the older twin is) -- “Rex is, five minutes.”

(On if he and Rex still use their own language they used when they were kids) -- “We still have it.  The last time I think we used it was on the airplane when I met my wife.  In twin talk, I told him, ‘Hey, I have got some babe sitting across from me.’  One thing led to another and I ended up marrying her.  That’s a true story.”

(On if his father will be at the game Sunday) -- “Yes, he will.”


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