IRVING, Texas -- Rob Ryan is not afraid to lead with his chin, even if it can get him in trouble.
During his press conference Thursday, Ryan not only quoted Teddy Roosevelt, but he also compared himself to Sugar Ray Robinson.
Coming off back-to-back losses in which the defense allowed big plays in the fourth quarter (New York Giants) or overtime (Arizona), some coaches might back off the bravado.
“The bottom line is there are no excuses. The thing has to get fixed,” Ryan said. “It’s on me. It’s my watch. But the simple fact is -- and I know no one believes it -- but I know I’m the best coach or the best defensive coach. I’m sure Dom Capers never had to face all the criticism I will, but I really don’t care.
"Teddy Roosevelt had a big line on critics. I know you know it, but I don’t. I don’t give a crap. The bottom line is I tell my players I’m Sugar Ray Robinson. That’s who I am. I’m the champ, and I always know I’m the best. I do. Now maybe nobody else in the media believes it, but I know the guys in the locker room do and I do. So whatever it is, hey, I’m the man who is in charge. I’m the man who will fix our problem. All right? And I will get it fixed."
Yet when Ryan talks big and the subsequent play is akin to a little stick, which is a Roosevelt-ian play on words for you at home, the coach puts himself in the crosshairs.
Despite that, he will not change.
“I’m Sugar Ray Robinson,” Ryan said. “I’ve only been a champion twice, world champion twice, and I think he was six times, so I’m going to keep working and I’ll get there. Confidence is something I have and it comes from having better knowledge than anybody else.”
Got it? Good.