Rex Ryan is used to criticism as the former coach of the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills.
But the slings and arrows weren't out quite as quickly in his coaching days as they were for Ryan's debut as a Monday Night Football commentator alongside play-by-play woman Beth Mowins on ESPN during Denver's 24-21 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.
It was amusing reading local broadcasters bash Rex on Twitter before the first quarter was even over.
University at Buffalo football voice Paul Peck opined: "Rex Ryan the analyst is just like Rex Ryan the coach: Winging it."
WGR radio's Paul Hamilton replied to Peck by saying: "This is the best thing ever written about him EVER." And then he added : "Rex is horrendous."
WGR's Sal Capaccio's quick review: "Beth is great. Rex is bad."
The comments from the local broadcasters made me throw away any regret for judging any sportscaster too quickly.
I'm supposed to be the tough critic and even I was willing to give Ryan a full half before trashing him.
He was pretty bad at the start of the game but had improved marginally by halftime, when I went to bed.
Here are my tweets from Rex's performance, with some additional comments explaining them:
"So far Rex is telling us what we can see or know. Needs to tell us what we don't see or know once in a while. Mowins is strong as usual." Rex started off with what the late Howard Cosell would say "was a perfect grasp of the obvious." But, hey, it was his first game as an analyst.
"One thing is clear: Rex has done his homework. Has given a lot of info on players." Peck was being unfair. Rex prepared for the game; he wasn't winging it.
"Rex with a Johnny Unitas reference." As a former New York Giants fan (please forgive me), I was hoping for a Y.A. Tittle reference.
"I would give Rex a full half before crushing him. He had a bad start but appears to be getting comfortable. Even just cracked a joke." The joke was about the grief a punt returner was going to get for being tackled by the punter. But the receiver actually wasn't tackled. He went out of bounds.
"Rex doing better job explaining options receiver has and noting (L.A. quarterback Philip) Rivers seeing man coverage. Needs to do more of that after awful start." This was after Rex noted a receiver had two options on a route, which is something you'd hope to get from a defensive-minded coach who has become an analyst.
"Advice for Rex: Try more humor, get more excited -- but not like in pregame. And tell us more about what qbs and receivers are supposed to see." Rex needed to find some of the energy he had before the game started when I thought he had too much coffee. He was surprisingly low-key.
"Here's my mini-revue of Rex's half: He wasn't very good but he did his homework and improved as half went on. Mowins was as strong as expected." He wasn't as bad as some of the early criticism indicated, but he also wasn't good enough for me to stay up past 1 a.m. to see if he improved in the second half.