Rex Ryan is already learning lessons about emotional team control heading into big games. Now, he's learning about personal control on the sideline.
"I'm gonna be not as animated or whatever if you will," he said, via ESPN.com. "You know I gotta control my language I think a little bit sometimes on the sideline. I think that'll help, that's gonna be the first thing and then our team as well."
Ryan was hit with a flag last Sunday for unsportsmanlike conduct.
We don't know if Ryan is just saying this to placate the media after a bad loss, but if it's really something he's just learning now, then Ryan might be in trouble. Earlier this week, Ryan said, "I'm recognizing that we have to have that controlled emotion," a statement that also raised some eyebrows if only because Ryan has been coaching in the NFL for six seasons now.
Emotional control could arguably be a coach's No. 1 responsibility.
Then again, Ryan probably already knows this. After years of getting bombarded in New York, he understands that simply putting his head down and saying I need to get better at whatever question you just asked me or whatever fans are criticizing me for is much easier than fighting anyone on it.
These are issues that plagued Ryan throughout a lengthy push to become a head coach in the NFL, and ones that popped up occasionally during his tenure with the Jets. When an epic Santonio Holmes outburst capped a miserable 2011 season, Ryan admitted that he didn't know why Holmes was not on the field for a potential game-winning drive. He would later admit that he needed to do a better job of considering locker room chemistry before signing certain players.
That was just a few years into his tenure, though. Ryan is older now and all the wiser -- at least we think he is.