FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Don't be fooled into thinking Rex Ryan's bark is worse than his bite.
He might talk a good game, sure. But he's also not afraid to boot his players in the butt either. Outraged at the 14 penalties his New York Jets took in a 10-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night, Ryan vowed to clean things up.
Sure enough, during practice the other day, Ryan would toot his whistle whenever the defence committed an infraction. The player who committed the penalty would then stand alone -- while his 10 defensive teammates, circled around him -- would be forced to do pushups.
The message: You screw up and your teammates will pay the price. Talk about peer pressure.
"It's to let you know that, 'Hey, you let your teammates down,' " Ryan said. "The (penalized) guy is the first guy down (on the ground) saying, 'I'll take (all the pushups)." No. You've got to watch your teammates do them.
"(We're doing) anything. I know it's an old high-school trick but sometimes those old high-school tricks work on this level."
As for his penchant of shooting from the lip, Ryan offers no apologies. Call him arrogant. Call him a windbag.
It's not going to change what he says.
"That's who I am. I believe it," he said.
"I feel our team will win the Super Bowl. So if I believe that, why shouldn't I say it? I have the courage to say it. I understand if it doesn't work out it's going to come back on me. And that's okay. But I believe it will happen. Just like last year I believed we would have the number one defence in football -- and we did."
Does all his boastful talk bother his players?
"No, I think we feel the same way as he does," quarterback Mark Sanchez said. "The confidence he has, it's true. He's not blowing smoke. He's not talking for his health. That's what he really believes and we believe the same thing.
"We're thrilled he has enough confidence to talk to us like that. It's great."
In the end, Ryan has one final message for his critics. "We want to win the Super Bowl and I think we can," he said. "I think we will.
"We'll see who's laughing when it's all said and done."