Big, big smile.
Then he said a few coaches should be treated to extended holiday breaks.
"Oh, hold up," Ryan said. "That was my wish list for Santa Claus."
"It's obviously going to be a challenge whoever's out there," Ryan said, "but, you know, obviously these are some of the premier players in this game, so ..."
"I don't think it's about, 'Well, let's try to ruin their perfect season,'" Ryan said. "I think it's more the fact that you get to compete against that quality of a football team. With the '72 Dolphins, they could all think, 'Hey, it's great. We're happy for you guys.' But that's not it at all. We're just trying to keep our playoff chances alive here."
"You want to get him off his spot," Ryan said of Manning. "He knows exactly where he's going with the ball. I love the guy, I mean as a quarterback all that. But I hate him."
Ryan has been frustrated by his defense's inability to close out some games this season, failing to hold leads in the final minutes of three losses.
"We'll know a lot more about our football team if we can stop this offense because nobody's really stopped it," Ryan said. "That's going to be our challenge, there's no doubt."
One of the keys will be not divulging too much of the defensive game plan before each play.
"He can snap it quick. He can take it all the way down to 1 second," Ryan said, referring to Manning. "I mean, I don't think that's entertaining football. That's just me. That's how I feel about it."
Big smile again.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press