The New York Jets coach was asked to sign his team's logo sticker on the back of ESPN's tour bus at training camp Thursday, a few hours after Joe Namath watched practice. Instead of just signing his name, the brash Ryan wrote: "Soon to be Champs."
"I've got confidence to put it up there," Ryan said Friday between practices. "I don't have to just put, 'Go, so-and-so.' Yeah, whatever. To me, I believe we'll do it, so why wouldn't we say it? Why wouldn't we go for it?"
ESPN's Adam Schefter, who was aboard the bus, wrote in his column on ESPN.com that Ryan was the first this summer to write anything other than his name.
That is, until Friday, when the bus stopped at New England Patriots camp and wide receiver Wes Welker wrote his name with this message, according to a tweet by Schefter: "One Game At A Time!"
"I'm not apologizing," Ryan said. "I just know what's going to happen. My crystal ball, I'm seeing a Super Bowl trophy in there. Now, I could be wrong, but that's what I see. But everytime I go to work, that's what I look at."
Ryan has said many times that the Jets are a Super Bowl-caliber team, and has irritated some fans, opposing players and media with his bold, sometimes-outrageous comments.
"I don't care if people don't like it or whatever: 'Oh, just shut up and win something,'" he said. "I've won a lot more than that person writing it, I can promise you. And, I've been there. My family's been to a bunch of these things and I know how to get there. The first step is, if you don't believe it yourself, your team darned sure won't."
Ryan is in his second year as coach of the Jets, and expectations are high after leading them to the playoffs last season. Even Namath said that talk of this year's team going all the way is "justified" because of the overall talent. Namath, who led the franchise to its only title in 1969, added that this year's team is "the most legitimate contender we've had."
"I'm not embarrassed to say that I believe that will happen," Ryan said. "The great thing is we get to prove it soon. That's the beauty of it."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press