FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan picked up the phone and called on New York Jets fans for some help against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
The first-year coach recorded a 70-second message that was sent to every season-ticket holder Wednesday, urging Jets fans to make it "miserable for Brady & Co. and seem like there's 13 or 14 guys out there on defense" during Sunday's game at the Meadowlands.
Ryan spoke from the heart -- no script -- and Jets fans got a surprise when they answered their phones or checked voice mails.
"Hey, this is Rex Ryan, the head coach of the New York Jets," Ryan began the message. "I just wanted to let you know how much we need you this week. You know, I've already admitted that, hey, the Patriots have a better head coach and they've got a better quarterback than us. But we're going to see who's got a better team."
The Jets play their home opener Sunday against Bill Belichick's Patriots, who have beaten New York eight consecutive times at the Meadowlands.
"Again, I admit that I'm not as good as Belichick, but at the end of the game, I want to be 1-0 against him," Ryan ended the message. "So, help me out if you don't mind. That's my challenge, OK? Thank you. Bye."
Ryan, who was an assistant coach for the Baltimore Ravens the previous 10 seasons, is hoping to turn the Jets' home field into a clear advantage.
"I've seen that happen where sometimes it gets so loud and it just takes one guy to miss a check," Ryan said after practice. "So, I'm challenging our fans to maybe be the difference in this game this week."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press