Why the hate toward Ryan, Belichick?

November, 6, 2012
11/06/12
11:19
AM ET
Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick are the NFL's two most overrated coaches?

C'mon, man!

The Sporting News surveyed 103 NFL players and Ryan of the New York Jets and Belichick of the New England Patriots finished No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Ryan received 35 votes and Belichick received 16.

I agreed with a recent player poll that Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow was overrated. But there is no merit behind Ryan and Belichick being overrated. This is the silliest player poll I’ve seen to date.

Belichick has three Super Bowl rings with New England and five Super Bowl appearances as head coach. He has a perfect, 16-0 regular season after Spygate. Belichick has Hall of Fame credentials and it’s silly for any NFL players to think otherwise.

Ryan is in his fourth season and has two appearances in the AFC Championship Game. He’s never had a losing season and has handled the New York media circus well. I’ve criticized Ryan for several things -- such as his undying loyalty to quarterback Mark Sanchez -- but his X's and O's are solid.

This poll reeks of a popularity contest -- and Ryan and Belichick are unpopular for different reasons. Belichick is not the most personable coach in the world. But not being likable doesn’t make him overrated.

Yes, Ryan gets plenty of media attention, and perhaps players don’t like coaches stealing the spotlight. But saying zany things in the media doesn’t make Ryan a bad coach.

Stop the AFC East hate.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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