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Rex Ryan's take on Fireman Ed ditching New York Jets

It's not a football tale that promises to sit alongside the legend of The Four Horsemen, but the disappearance of Fireman Ed is a fitting symbol of this year's New York Jets.

The team's long-time superfan, who lives by day as Ed Anzalone, recently announced he's done dressing up in green and white to amp up the Jets faithful at MetLife.

Ed blamed an increasingly ugly tone at the stadium -- and not the flailing team -- but his departure hit home with coach Rex Ryan, whose 4-7 outfit sits on the distant fringes of the playoff picture.

"I love that guy's passion and energy that he would bring. He's a great fan," Ryan told reporters Monday. "I really admire him. He was great. But I think if we do our job on the field, that Jet chant will continue, but I certainly appreciate Fireman Ed."

In a rare show of levity this season, Ryan -- somber in recent pressers -- gave a loud chuckle when one reporter suggested the coach appeared visibly affected by Anzalone's march into the abyss.

"Well I like Fireman Ed, man," Ryan said. "If he could play linebacker or whatever, I'd use him. I like him. I don't know what to say. I do, I appreciate him."

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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