Rex Ryan has always had strong opinions.
From his days as a defensive coordinator, assembling some of the top defenses in the league with the Ravens to his head coaching stints with the Jets and Bills, Ryan was known for his colorful language and passionate opinions.
That has since spilled over to his role off the sidelines as an analyst for ESPN on Sunday NFL Countdown where he continues to pull no punches.
His latest comments that have went viral stem from the performance of his former team, the New York Jets, and first-year head coach Robert Saleh.
Before landing the Jets job, there was a lot of positive chatter about Saleh the last few coaching cycles, with some folks even weighing in and comparing him to a toned-down version of Rex Ryan.
Well, with Saleh's defense playing some uninspiring football as of late (including coming of their bye week to lose 54-13 to the Patriots who were starting a rookie quarterback) as the Jets sit at 2-7, Rex Ryan let it be known that the comparisons linking him to Saleh are off base.
"I take it personal on this one. Everything that I heard about the guy was, 'Well, this guy is a lot like myself, but without the bad parts.' Yeah? Well some of the bad parts, you need, because this team doesn't play with any damn heart. That's the thing that is disappointing to me."
"Don't ever compare this guy to me, Robert Saleh to me. Statistically, there was like one time where they were a top defense. Four out of five years, the 49ers were dead last in their division. So he's going to be dead last again, so he's used to that."
"To me, I'm a little pissed off about it when I hear that this guy, and his background is a lot like mine. No it isn't. No it isn't."
Saleh was asked about those critical comments just a bit ago on ESPN's The Michael Kay Show and offered the following rebuttal.
"Obviously, I have never met Rex. I have never had a conversation with Rex. I don't know him, other than people than know him throughout the league."
"Obviously, if it's that personal for him, he knows where to find me."
Asked if was surprised by the comments from the former Jets head coach, Saleh added, "I'm not surprised. He's always got something to say."
Hear both Ryan's comments and Saleh's rebuttal in the clip below.
Update >> Robert Saleh's brother, David, has stormed his way into the feud on behalf of his brother with a heck of a tweet directed at Rex.