New York Jets coach Rex Ryan has never been one to mince words. It seems this trend will continue in his new book set to be released soon, named, Play Like You Mean It: Passion, Laughs and Leadership in the World's Most Beautiful Game. One former player finds himself the target of criticism in the book, former Jet and current Cardinal Kerry Rhodes.
According to ESPN's Rich Cimini, Ryan criticizes Kerry Rhode's work ethic and commitment to football. "He was a selfish-ass guy," Ryan writes. "He wouldn't work and he was a Hollywood type."
It would seem that Ryan and Rhodes just did not get off on the right foot together. Rhodes was benched during Ryan's first season as head coach of the Jets and was criticized for his off-the-field pursuits. He fought back to the srating lineup by the playoffs, but the reputation was set. He was "Hollywood."
When he was traded to the Cardinals after the 2009 season, he vowed to shed the label and had a fine season. He was the only player in the league to intercept at least four passes and recover at least four fumbles. He scored two defensive touchdowns and was a notable Pro Bowl snub.
Rhodes responded to the comments via Twitter, stating:
funny how I was never perceived that way b4 and one year I am?
As for what happened in New York? I don't know. Maybe he did get a little off track. Ryan's words may have been accurate for the time he knew Rhodes. But there is no denying how hard he played last season and how much he worked at football.
Either Ryan is blowing hot air (which he has been known to do) or he and Rhodes just did not hit it off.
A possible positive to this will be the lingering of that label, which may just motivate Kerry Rhodes into another career year. No one here would complain about that.