The following is a guest post from Alyssa Lang, a die-hard Jets fan. @Alyssa_Lang_34
When I found out that I had the opportunity to go to pro-day at the University of South Carolina, I was excited. But excited can hardly describe my emotions when I found out that Rex Ryan would be in attendance.
As I tweeted about the events from this morning, I was waiting until I got to tell my followers that I had the chance to talk to coach. When it finally came, all I could tweet was “Just talked to Rex.” As I expected, my followers wanted to know every detail. But 140 characters on Twitter is definitely not enough to describe the experience. And yes, I was a little star-struck.
So here’s what happened as far as Rex Ryan on pro-day.
We (myself and my SGTV producer, Hunter Banks) arrived at Williams-Brice Stadium at about 9:45, got our press passes and went to set up. Scouts were flowing in by the minute- there were representatives from about 12 teams present. The Colts, Bills, Vikings, Redskins, Titans, Panthers, Patriots..you get the idea. But of course, it wasn’t until right before the events started that Rex Ryan showed up. His familiar face sent football-savvy media members of the media into a frenzy.
He observed pro-day just like the rest of the scouts. He could be seen across the field chatting up South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, quarterback Connor Shaw, Stephon Gilmore, and the other scouts. In order to get a shot of one of the drills, I ended up standing right next to him and one of the Jets scouts. And when people say that this man is loud….they are not kidding.
So I tried to go about the rest of pro-day casually; as if the head coach of my favorite team was not within 20 yards of me for 4 hours straight. Eventually, the drills came to and end and it was time for post-day interviews with players.
I had warned my producer that once I saw Rex Ryan try to leave the premises, I had no intention of doing anything else other than trying to catch him for a second.
I walked across the field with my camera in hand, as my producer shook his head and went to go interview Stephen Garcia. Rex Ryan was standing there with Mike Pettine, talking to two other scouts. I waited patiently. They finished talking, and Rex turned his back to me to walk away– so what else was I supposed to do, other than yell out “Hey Coach Rex!”.
Probably not the most professional way to get a coaches attention. But it worked, so I went with it.
He turned around with a smile and said hello, and I promptly stuck my hand out and introduced myself as ‘Alyssa Lang, big Jet fan and writer for Jetstwit.com’. He immediately turned to Mike Pettine and said “Alyssa, meet Mike- you know him, our defensive coordinator.”
Yeah….I was dying inside.
We stood there for a few minutes, talking about the circus of the off-season- and I thanked him for giving myself and my fellow bloggers PLENTY to write about over the last few weeks. Rex found that pretty funny.
It was a short conversation, but he had lived up to everything I had heard about him. In the span of about 4 minutes, he dropped the f-bomb maybe 6 times? It was great.
I wished him luck with the rest of the season, and assured him I’d be watching closely. He thanked me for introducing myself, and walked away saying “Go Jets.”
In general, pro-day went well. Melvin Ingram was very impressive, and Alshon Jeffrey ran a 4.5 in the forty, and had some very acrobatic catches. I’ll be writing about the actual pro-day events as well as posting footage of the drills, players, scouts, and of course, Rex. So stay tuned!