Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rex Ryan Misses Mark with Latest Jab at Jets

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rex Ryan Misses Mark with Latest Jab at Jets

Article excerpt

Rex Ryan went too far on this one.

Just a day after Ikemefuna Enemkpali smashed Geno Smith's jaw and knocked the New York Jets' quarterback out of the lineup for as many as 10 weeks, Ryan, coach of the Buffalo Bills, decided he'd be the one to give the Enemkpali a second chance.

Yup. Even though Enemkpali faces the likelihood of a multi-game suspension from the NFL for his vicious punch to his former teammate, Ryan offered his forgiveness by offering the linebacker a job. It's one more chance for Ryan to tweak his old team. And one more chance for Ryan to thumb his nose at conventional thinking by bringing in a player who, quite frankly, doesn't deserve to have a second chance so soon after blowing up the Jets' locker room with his fit of temper.

Ryan makes no secret about his bitterness at how his six-year run with the Jets ended last year, making that obvious during our conversation last week about his frustrations with former general manager John Idzik. But putting in a claim for Enemkpali sure feels like an unseemly attempt for Ryan to get back at his old team and now his divisional rival.

Apparently that feeling is shared by more than a few folks in Buffalo, because Ryan was described as defensive and restrained in discussing with reporters the move to claim Enemkpali.

"We all know what happened and things like that," Ryan said. "Obviously, it was a terrible thing that happened. But IK made a mistake, there's no question about that. But instead of listening to this person, that person or whatever - we had IK last year (with the Jets). A lot of us were around IK, and he was a good teammate."

But get this: Ryan acknowledged he had not spoken to Enemkpali about Tuesday's incident before convincing Bills general manager Doug Whaley and team owner Terry Pegula to put in the waiver claim.

Not a good look, especially in a league that has become increasingly sensitive to this kind of behavior. With NFL commissioner Roger Goodell showing little tolerance for such violent acts, Enemkpali can expect a significant suspension for slugging Smith. The league allowed the waiver claim to go through, but a review of his situation will soon begin and penalties are likely to follow. …

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