After Ryan and Sparano took part in the customary midfield handshake following a rough 31-27 Jets loss, Ryan turned to a team employee and said, "I don't like this dude."
"I was pissed," Ryan recalled, according to the New York Daily News. "I'm like, âI'm going to kick that dude's ass next time.'"
Games between Ryan's Jets and Sparano's Dolphins almost always came down to the final possession, tight battles that earned Ryan's respect. Now the Jets' offensive coordinator, Sparano is a coach Ryan believes shares the same sensibilities Ryan has for his beloved defense.
"After he became available," Ryan said, "I'm like, âOh, hell, yeah â¦ that's my guy.'"
We're firmly in the honeymoon phase here, but the pressure will soon be on Sparano to turn around a Jets' offense that sorely disappointed a season ago.