Rex Ryan, coming off a rousing first win over Arizona last weekend, was in a playful mood during his weekly press conference Wednesday at One Bills Drive. He was certainly more engaging than his upcoming opponent, Bill Belichick, who was his typically dry and unrevealing self on an earlier call.
Ryan showed up shortly after the stroke of noon for his 12:05 session, while the Pats' Julian Edelman was in the middle of his conference call with the Buffalo media. Ryan sidled over to the phone and gestured to the reporters that he was going to get a question in for Edelman. He did, and without using his real name.
"Julian, " Ryan said. "This is, uh, Walt Patulski from the Buffalo News. Are you playing quarterback this week?"
"Huh?" the star wideout replied.
"Are you playing quarterback this week?" Ryan asked.
"Well, I'm going to do whatever the coaches ask me to do," Edelman said. "So if they ask me to go out and give a glass of water to someone on the sideline, I'm going to do that with a smile on my face if it helps our team win. So you can ask Coach that one."
"All right, Julian," Ryan said. "I will, Buddy."
"All right, Walt," Edelman said. At that point, it seemed he might have caught on to Ryan's joke, though it was hard to tell. It seemed he didn't know who the questioner was when he gave his answer about delivering water on the sidelines.
Ryan followed with a 17-minute presser with the local media. After his final question, someone told him that Tim Tebow had hit a home run on the first pitch thrown to him in his first instructional game minutes before. This was true.
"That's great for him," said Ryan, who coached Tebow with the Jets. "It really is. That's good. He's a good kid. I really liked him. It's funny, we used to talk baseball all the time. As you know, I was a great baseball player. Nah, just kidding. But I do love baseball. He played on a team that won the state championship and I think he had two first-round picks on his team.
"But it was my understanding that he thought he was the best player on his team. And you know darn well he would never say that."