ESPN Should Permanently Quarantine Rex Ryan’s Mouth

Rex Ryan has made some wildly offensive comments about players and head coaches during his tenure as an NFL analyst, but the way he was straight hating on Amari Cooper’s 5-year, $100 million contract with the Dallas Cowboys is even fouler than Omarion’s baby mama hooking up with his B2K brethren Lil Fizz. 


YNW Melly, “Murder On MY mind” is what comes to mind when I listen to Rex in this clip. He sounds like he’s been drinking so much Hatorade that an intervention is mandatory. 

  You can’t be referring to anybody as a “turd,” By definition, a turd is a lump of excrement or a person regarded as obnoxious or contemptible. For Rex to make a statement like that is unacceptable. 

The nerve of a coach who has no championship hardware and is publicly into weird foot fetishes and getting tattoos of his young quarterback plastered on his body. 

If Rob Parker got fired for calling RG3 “A cornball brother back in 2013,” then ESPN certainly can’t have old white guys freely calling young, successful Black athletes turds on national TV. 

Especially good soldiers like Coop. He’s been a game changer for the Dallas Cowboys offense since they traded for him in 2018. The Cowboys are the No. 1 offense, the third most efficient offense, and quarterback Dak Prescott has thrown for the most yards of any QB since that time. When it’s all said and done, Dak’s  going to get almost three times that much. 

Coop signed a contract that the market set for good hands people like himself. The former Oakland Raiders star averaged a career-high 15.1 yards per catch with 8 TDs. Cooper was a free agent and the $40 million guaranteed is basically what Dallas would have paid if they franchised him two years in a row. 

There’s been no evidence of Cooper being a locker room cancer or disruption. Why was Rex so venomous in trying to discredit the 25-year-old receiver, who’s just blossoming? 

He could bang on one of many janky quarterbacks around the NFL if he feels the need to discredit someone with his shock jock one-liners.

Ryan was always more sideshow than elite head coach. The NY media raved about how comical and personable and willing he was to give a lightning bolt quote. 

Most of the time, he just pissed off his opponents. Rex had a decent six-year run with the Jets, going to back-to-back AFC Championship games. But he’ll always be associated with the failures of Mark Sanchez and the infamous Butt Fumble and a guy who just came up short. Couldn’t complete the culture transformation.  

What started as commendable confidence and was perceived as leadership became obnoxiousness as times got tough.

Old Head Not Giving A Funk

When Rex flexes on somebody at an ESPN round table, nobody makes a big deal about what he says because he’s like the 57-year-old grandfather just spewing nonsense at the dinner table. He’s respected , but sometimes he takes it too far.  It’s all good though because Chris Tucker, Cube respected Pops, but they never took Pops seriously.  

It’s a reputation that Rex hides behind when he wants to execute a personal beef, character assassinate, then pass it off as legit commentary. 

I always wondered how a guy who has a career record of 61-66 and only won double digit games once in eight seasons with the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills can talk so recklessly about the men he once led. 

Back in 2011, the Jets went 8-8 and followed that up with a 6-10 season, but that didn’t stop Ryan from taking shots at Tom Brady.

“Nobody studies like [Manning]. I know [Tom] Brady thinks he does and all that stuff,” Ryan said. “I think there’s probably a little more help from [Bill] Belichick with Brady than there is with Peyton Manning.”

A year earlier, he picked a public beef with Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder, even threatening to “handle him.”

The Violator

Once he retired and it was clear no NFL franchise was going to sign up for the Rex Ryan circus, ESPN decided to add Rex’s colorful commentary  to Sunday NFL Countdown  in 2017 and he came out the gate dissing like Pops from “Friday.” 

He totally violated  former Jets’ quarterback Geno Smith

Ryan said: “I love Geno Smith. Great guy. I just don’t want him playing quarterback for me.” Smith then responded with “I did see one of my ex-coaches say he didn’t want me to be his quarterback. That really upset me. I saved his job in 2013. We fought our ass for him both years. For him to say that shows how much of a coward he is.” 

Then Ryan shot back on NFL Countdown, saying Smith’s chin was “a little soft”:

Ryan was referencing when Jets’ linebacker IK Enemkpali broke Smith’s jaw with an August 2015 power punch in the Jets locker room, reportedly over a dispute about a $600 plane ticket

Rex would later sign Enemkpali to a contract with the Bills and made him a team Captain. 

That was personal. Not professional. 

Remember when he called Baker Mayfield “overrated as hell” on ESPN’s Get Up! after Cleveland started the 2019 season 1-2? 

The national media was already on Baker’s back and Ryan wanted to finish the second-year player’s career off before he even got started. Just foul. 

Ryan’s latest rant about Cooper was off the deep end. Ryan is experienced. He and his brother Rob are respected NFL football coaches. How about blessing us with some hardcore football analysis? 

For some reason Ryan uses his ESPN platform to settle personal vendettas and sell his brand. Maybe it’s time for a Rex Ryan remix. Cleaning up the language he uses to describe the same players that have helped him build a lucrative career would be a good start. 

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.