Rex Ryan expresses regret for criticizing Aaron Donald in 2014
Rex Ryan loves to talk, and with the benefit of hindsight, he doesn’t always love his own words.
Back in 2014, Ryan, who was still coaching the New York Jets at the time, made this comment about the Rams‘ star defensive tackle Aaron Donald when he was selected to the Pro Bowl over Sheldon Richardson (via Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News):
“If it kept him out of the Pro Bowl because some guy had ‘X’ amount of sacks, and that guy can’t hold his jock as a player, to be honest with you, I think that’s kind of strange to me.”
Of course, Donald was also named as the Defensive Rookie of the Year that season, and he’s now considered by many to be the best defensive player in the NFL.
Ahead of the Bills‘ matchup with Los Angeles this Sunday, Ryan is offering a public apology to Donald, taking back the belittling remarks he made two years back:
“I don’t blame him” for still being upset, Ryan told reporters. “I never knew the guy. I never even saw him. That was what was said to me” about Donald, “so I made the comment.”
“I’m like, ‘Hmmm! After watching him, ohhh, I want to take that back,” Ryan said. “You know me, I make some comments that aren’t really good. That’s one of them.”
“This guy’s really good. He reminds me of” Hall-of-Famer “John Randle. His quickness, change-of-direction, I mean, unusual. You just don’t see it. So, yeah, that probably wasn’t the smartest comment of all time.”