Posted on: August 5, 2011 5:15 pm
Posted by Ryan Wilson
If the fact that they're identical twins wasn't enough of a giveaway, it's clear after hearing Rex and Rob Ryan talk (not just the way the speak but the words that leave their lips) that they are cut from the same cloth.
Rex's coaching style appears to be as much about X's and O's as making brash proclamations that not only inspire his team but incite opponents. So far it's working. In two seasons, Ryan has twice led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game. And even though we're barely a week into 2011 training camps, Rex shows no signs of letting up.
So it should be no surprise that twin brother Rob, in his first year as the Cowboys' defensive coordinator, also isn't afraid to make grand pronouncements that will almost certainly be taken the wrong way by players and coaches outside the organization. But we're guessing that's sort of the point.
The latest evidence: Rob Ryan vowed earlier this week that the Cowboys would "beat the ass" of the "all-hype team." Apparently, he was talking about the Philadelphia Eagles even though he didn't mention them by name.
“I just like that he thinks we're going to come out and kick people's ass,” cornerback Orlando Scandrick said. “If he believes, we believe.”
Linebacker Bradie James was a little more measured. “I've got to roll with whoever's in charge,” James said, according to MySanAntonio.com. “If that's the way he wants to approach it, it's our job to go out there and execute and make sure he doesn't look the fool.”
For his part, Ryan wasn't backing down."You can't talk noise if you don't have the players to back it up," he said. "We always walk the walk. Anybody that knows a Ryan knows they walk the walk. We don't talk the talk, we walk it. Our guys are gonna be good, and we know it. So that ain't talkin'. That's just the (bleepin') way it is."
We said it in reference to Rex needling the Patriots earlier this week but it also holds for Rob: football may officially be back, but it doesn't quite feel like it until one of the Ryan twins say something for the sole purpose of getting a rise out of people.
Bluster aside, Cowboys Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff makes a good point. "He's just an honest, straight-forward coach. You know exactly what you're getting. What else can you ask for?"
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Posted on: September 25, 2010 6:30 pm
Posted by Andy Benoit
Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff rejoined the team late this week after missing practice Wednesday and Thursday to attend his grandparents’ funeral. Arletha and Willie Ratliff died in a fire at their Georgia home on September 15.
"It was real hard," Ratliff told the Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News. "I went down there hurting real bad. I came back proud and motivated."
Ratliff almost sat out last week against the Bears but decided to play because that’s what his grandfather would have wanted. Fraley writes, “Ratliff was close to his grandfather, a World War II veteran who had health problems that included losing both legs.
‘He helped raise me to become the man I am,’ Ratliff said. ‘His blood runs through my veins. I'm very proud of that.’”
The organization was extremely supportive of its Pro Bowler. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones loaned his private airplane to Ratliff so he could travel to and from the funeral.
"That's why I am motivated to be back here," Ratliff said. "For [Jones] to take time out and help one of his players, that was thoughtful of him and greatly appreciated."
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Posted on: July 8, 2010 12:34 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 12:45 pm
Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, with today’s focus on defensive tackles.
As expected, this position is brimming with talent, and unlike some other (unnamed) positions, where it was pretty tough to find five really quality stars, this list had to be edited and reworked a few times because there were so many deserving linemen. I’m sure there are five other tackles out there who could be placed on a top-five list and have them be just as deserving. Well, maybe nearly as deserving.
Kevin Williams most likely will play this season after avoiding a potential suspension because of a positive drug test issue. If he’s on the field, he’s one of the best interior DL in the NFL (as his four-straight Pro Bowls will attest). I thought long and hard about putting Haynesworth above Williams, but as good as he’s been as a DT, he might not be as effective as a nose tackle. Plus, he was just a little below elite last season, and the fact is that he’s played a 16-game schedule exactly one time – during his rookie season in 2002.
Ratliff has accumulated 13.5 sacks in the past two years – the guy certainly knows how to rush a passer. And now that he’s had surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbows – which didn’t allow him to bench press the past two years – he could easily move to the top of this list. Wilfork is the anchor of the Patriots 3-4 defense, and now, he’s being paid like one after signing a five-year, $40 million contract with $25 million guaranteed. Ngata is huge and nimble and quick and athletic. He demands double-teams.
Andy Benoit's top five
I swear I made this list before I saw yours. You nailed Ngata: nimble and quick. To me, Ratliff is the amazing member of this list. He’s a former seventh-round pick who, at a diminutive 303 pounds, has become the most dominant nose tackle in the NFC. He’s expanded the criteria for how we evaluate nose tackles. Rather than commanding double-teams with sheer size, he commands them with energy and quickness off the snap.
I probably would have put Dockett on my top five – though I’m not sure who I would have left off – but I was saving him for the defensive ends list. I saw Rogers play live a few times last year; he didn’t do much to impress me. He’s just really, really big. He’s a quality run-stopper, but when he’s out of shape, he’s not a top-10 guy. My top eight would go: 6. Kris Jenkins (I was close to putting him in the top five – he has really good athleticism), 7. Pat Williams (he’s not as good as he once was, but he’s still a powerful force), 8. Jonathan Babineaux (he’s athletic and plays well as a pass rusher and run-stopper). Babineaux faced a felony animal cruelty charge a few years ago, so that’s a bit weird. But still, we’re talking about a really good undersized DT.
You know, this isn’t quite as much fun when we agree. I miss us making fun of each other. O Manny Lawson, Manny Lawson, wherefore art thou Manny Lawson?
Andy’s final word
I think Babineaux is underrated, but not to the degree that he makes the top eight. His 2007 animal cruelty charges flew under the radar because – and what are the odds of this – another Falcons player had bigger animal abuse charges around that time. (You might remember reading something about it.)
Posted on: July 2, 2010 9:29 pm
Cowboys star nose tackle Jay Ratliff gets it. Ratliff’s team has been bombarded with Super Bowl questions and hype this offseason. But the former seventh-round pick is not taking the bait.
Ratliff recently had this to say on the ESPN Radio Show Galloway and Co.:
There’s a lot of talk about the Cowboys and the Super Bowl but are you even thinking about the Super Bowl right now?
Nope. I’m not talking about it and I’m not thinking about it. Right now, I’m just thinking about training camp and then when the time comes, I’ll be thinking about the game we’re playing that week. But, I’m not looking ahead, I’m not falling in that trap, not going to happen. And we have a very mature team and I’m pretty sure the other guys won’t either.
Problem is, a lot of the Cowboys Super Bowl talk seems to indirectly derive from the owner of the team…
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Posted on: June 22, 2010 12:34 pm
Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff is remarkable. Weighing not quite 300 pounds, the 2007 fifth-round draft choice has become a Pro Bowler operating out of what is traditionally a two-gap position. Ratliff doesn’t have the girth to clog the middle, so instead, he dominates with initial quickness and penetrating leverage. No nose tackle in this era has gotten in the backfield with the consistency and ferocity that Ratliff has.
Now, we learn, there’s been even more of an incline to Ratliff’s uphill battle. Ratliff told fans in an NFL.com chat on Monday that he’s been playing with bone spurts in his elbows the past three years. The elbows feel better now, and he bench-pressed for the first time in two years on Monday.