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Jets coach Rex Ryan has fun at press conference, reverses roles with reporter

CORTLAND, N.Y. - Rex Ryan got to ask the questions after practice for a change.

The New York Jets coach playfully reversed roles with a reporter during his news conference at training camp Saturday.

After giving an injury update on his players, Ryan stepped from the podium and took a seat with the rest of the media — and told ESPN New York beat writer Rich Cimini to take his place.

Ryan asked Cimini if he wanted to start his newser by discussing the injuries, and Cimini cleverly answered with a few of the coach's often-repeated lines: "I'm not going into too much depth. We're leaning on the doctors and trainers."

Laughs all around.

Ryan then peppered Cimini with several questions for nearly 10 minutes, such as "What's the toughest part of the job?" and "Why did you get into this profession?" Cimini, in his 26th season covering the Jets, handled Ryan's inquiries flawlessly.

Not so easy trading a playbook for a notebook, coach?

"I'll make 'em way harder later," Ryan said, smiling. "I've got to come up with some better questions."

Ryan, in his sixth season as coach of the Jets, acknowledged that he sometimes gets tired of hearing the same questions about the quarterbacks — from Mark Sanchez to Tim Tebow to Geno Smith and Michael Vick.

"It's like, guys, how many times are you going to ask me a question about a quarterback thing that clearly I don't want to answer," he said. "Let's ask it sideways, let's do it this way. And I know you guys try to pick on me and sometimes I'll make a mistake and then you guys pounce all over it."

And, yes, when asked about Tebow specifically, Ryan said he "absolutely" grew weary of the barrage of questions "because you're talking about a backup quarterback." Tebow spent the 2012 season with the Jets and played sparingly.

Ryan asked Cimini about his favourite stories on the beat, and he mentioned the runs to the AFC championship games in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

"That's when you were in your bragging days," Cimini said, "and you would give us a lot of back pages."

Without missing a beat, Ryan fired one more self-deprecating zinger.

"Yeah," he said, "unfortunately, some front pages, too."

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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