Rex Ryan's Jets tenure was filled with memorable moments

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Rex Ryan was always good for a laugh or a headline - usually both - during his six seasons with the New York Jets.

He has consistently led the league in entertaining news conferences and continues to do so with the Buffalo Bills. Twitter was buzzing the moment Ryan stepped to the podium wearing a Clemson helmet Tuesday.

"This dude is wild," Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins said of Ryan's latest stunt. "That's crazy."

Those are just a few of the entries on a lengthy list of adjectives used to describe the NFL's most quotable coach.

Brash. Bold. Real. Controversial. Lovable. Outspoken. Obnoxious. Annoying. Silly. Fun.

They all apply.

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Rex Ryan's Jets tenure was filled with memorable moments
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - JANUARY 21: Rex Ryan addresses the media during a press conference after being introduced as the new Head Coach of the New York Jets at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on January 21, 2009 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - 2009: Rex Ryan of the New York Jets poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by NFL Photos)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - APRIL 17: Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets talks to his players at the afternoon practice during New York Jets minicamp on April 17, 2009 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 14: Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets during the National Anthem prior to a preseason game between St. Louis Rams and New York Jets on August 14, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Rams beat the Jets, 23-20. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 03: Rex Ryan, the New York Jets against Philadelphia Eagles in pre-season play at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. , (Photo by Robert Sabo/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
MIAMI - OCTOBER 12: Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets during an NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at Land Shark Stadium on October 12, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The Dolphins defeated the Jets 31-27. (Photo by Michael DeHoog/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 27: Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets talks with an official during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Jets defeated the Colts 29-15 giving the Colts their first loss of the season. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 03: Rex Ryan, Head Coach of the New York Jets, has Gatorade dumped on him by players at the end of the fourth quarter in celebration of their 37-0 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at Giants Stadium on January 3, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 17: Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 and Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets celebrate the victory against the San Diego Chargers when the Chargers host the Jets in the Divisional Playoffs at Qualcomm Stadium on January 17, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Jets defeated the Chargers 17-14. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - MARCH 25: Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets smiles as he addresses the media at the announcement that the New York Jets will be the featured team on the HBO Show, 'Hard Knocks: Training Camp With The New York Jets' on March 25, 2010 in Florham Park, New Jersey. The Five-part sports-based reality series will begin airing on August 11, 2010. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 27: Head Coach Rex Ryan and Owner Wody Johnson of the New York Jets follow the action against the Washington Redskins when the New York Jets host the Washington Redskins at New Meadowlands Stadium on August 27, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.Redskins beat the Jets, 16-11. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets looks on during warm-ups before a NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 07: Head Coach Rex Ryan and Kicker Nick Folk #2 of the New York Jets celebrate when Folk kicks a Game-Winning Field Goal in Overtime against the Detroit Lions when the Lions host the Jets at Ford Field on November 7, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. Jets beat the Lions, 23-20, in OT. (Photo by Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND - NOVEMBER 14: Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets meets with his twin brother, Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan of the Cleveland Browns when the Cleveland Browns host the New York Jets at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 14, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. Jets beat the Browns, 26-20, in Overtime. (Photo by Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images) . (Photo by Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 26: Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets looks on from the sidelines during the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 26, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Jets 38-34. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 08: Head coach Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets talk on the field during warm ups against the Indianapolis Colts during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - AUGUST 07: Head coach Rex Ryan speaks to members of the media after the morning walk through at NY Jets Practice Facility on August 7, 2011 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 29: Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets enjoys looking at Snoopy and the MetLife Bowl trophy after winning the game against the New York Giants when the Giants host the Jets at MetLife Stadium on August 29, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Jets beat the Giants, 17-3. (Photo by Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets follows the action against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on September 25, 2011 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 18: Fans of the Philadelphia Eagles poke fun at Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets at Lincoln Financial Field on December 18, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles won 45-13. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 18: Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets reacts after the Philadelphia Eagles scored during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field on December 18, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - JUNE 12: Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets speaks to the media during the first day of mini camp at the New York Jets Atlantic Health Training Center on June 12, 2012 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 08: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Head coach Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets before their game against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium on October 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Texans defeated the Jets 23-17. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan puts his head down as the score gets worse for the Jets against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Sunday, October 28, 2012. The Dolphins defeated the Jets, 30-9. (Robert Duyos/Sun Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 22: Tim Tebow #15 stands next to head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets late in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots on November 22, 2012 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.The New England Patriots defeated the New York Jets 49-19. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - SEPTEMBER 01: Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets poses during a portrait session on September 1, 2013 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 22: Quarterback EJ Manuel #3 of the Buffalo Bills and head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets meet on the field after the Jets defeated the Bills 27-20 at MetLife Stadium on September 22, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 03: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets in action against the New Orleans Saints on November 3, 2013 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Saints 26-20. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 22: Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets walks around shaking hands with fans at the end of the New York Jets 24-13 win over the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium on December 22, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ron Antonelli/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 29: Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets celebrates a win with Defensive Lineman Sheldon Richardson #91 and being announced as a returning coach in the locker room after the game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on December 29, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 03: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets greets defensive coordinator Rob Ryan of the New Orleans Saints after their game on November 3, 2013 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Saints 26-20. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 28: Head Coach Rex Ryan shakes hands with Geno Smith #7 of the New York Jets during warm ups for their game against the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium on September 28, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ron Antonelli/Getty Images)
Daily News back page December 12, 2014, Headline: Rex says Woody is right to be angry and should do what's best for Jets FIRE AWAY! The day after Woody Johnson hints to News that changes are coming to Jets, Rex Ryan can only agree with the frustrated owner. (Photo By: /NY Daily News via Getty Images)
New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan listens to a questions during a news conference following an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Jets won 37-24. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
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He took his share of criticism this week when he announced that Ikemefuna Enemkpali would be a game captain Thursday against New York, despite the linebacker breaking Jets quarterback Geno Smith's jaw with a punch during training camp. Ryan was defiant, insisting he was simply sticking with his tradition of honoring players going up against their former teams or playing in their hometown.

He's the classic example of the guy you can't stand when he's on the other sideline and love if he's on your side - as long as there's winning to go along with all the yapping.

"Good defensive coach," Jets safety Calvin Pryor said. "Definitely got a sense of humor and a funny guy. He's a good person."

But Pryor clammed up when he was asked if Ryan is a good head coach.

"Uhh, he said. "No comment on that."

The jury is indeed still out. Ryan's 50-54 regular-season record is mediocre, although his 4-2 mark in the postseason - all on the road - is mighty impressive.

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When Ryan was hired by the Jets as coach in 2009, he burst into the Big Apple with guarantees and declarations that fired up a fanbase thirsting for an identity. He delivered that, and then some, kicking things off by predicting a meeting with President Barack Obama as Super Bowl champions.

Dull was out and swagger was in - in a big way.

The consecutive trips to the AFC championship game raised expectations as well as Ryan's profile. He was in a movie, wrote a best-selling book and became the face of the franchise. His popularity soared to the point where he could have probably run for mayor and won in a landslide.

He declared during a radio interview that he didn't come to New York to kiss Bill Belichick's rings. Ryan provided perhaps the most memorable line on HBO's "Hard Knocks" in 2010, when he lit into his players with an expletive-laced tirade and capped it by demanding everyone eat a snack.

Ryan flipped off a fan once, and shouted a profanity at another. He showed up to a news conference wearing a blonde wig and a pillow under his sweatshirt to imitate his twin brother Rob. His massive weight loss after Lap-Band surgery made headlines. So did the tattoo on his right arm that featured his wife wearing a Mark Sanchez No. 6 Jets jersey.

"Good times," Jets linebacker Calvin Pace said.

But Ryan's words began to ring hollow with fans, the media and perhaps some of his players as the wins dwindled. A change in general managers - from Mike Tannenbaum to John Idzik - in 2013 didn't help, particularly since Ryan and Idzik were in the equivalent of a forced marriage.

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New York went 4-12 last season and owner Woody Johnson opted to clean house.

"I should have handled things differently when I was there and should have really made sure that Woody, in particular, knew exactly what I was feeling," Ryan said this week. "So I think you learn from it and all that type of stuff. But it's 100 percent my responsibility. I never ducked that."

Ryan didn't stay unemployed for long, blowing into Buffalo a few weeks after getting fired. He brought that familiar electricity to his introductory news conference, vowing to return the Bills to respectability - and the playoffs.

That's a daunting task, considering Buffalo hasn't been to the postseason in 15 seasons, the league's longest active drought.

On Thursday night, he's back at MetLife Stadium, the place where Ryan's celebrity rose to its peak. A win for his Bills (4-4) against the Jets (5-3) would go a long way toward helping the coach live up to his promise in his second act as an NFL head coach.

Across the river from Broadway, no less.

"I've been blessed to, you know, get another opportunity here with the Bills and really that's where my focus is," Ryan said. "I don't really want to dwell on what happened in the past and that type of stuff. Just focus on the right now, and the present, and we know we got a huge game in front of us and that's really where the focus is."

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