Ryan chooses lap-band procedure

Updated: March 14, 2010, 10:34 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- New York Jets coach Rex Ryan underwent a weight-loss procedure Saturday to help him fight obesity.

The husky Ryan had lap-band surgery at NYU Medical Center, and was relaxing at his home Saturday night in New Jersey, team spokesman Bruce Speight told The Associated Press.

Speight said Ryan also had a hernia repaired.

The New York Daily News first reported the story on its Web site Sunday morning.

The outpatient procedure came a day after Ryan and the Jets wined and dined free agent running back LaDainian Tomlinson, trying to persuade him to join the team that had the league's No. 1 rushing offense last season.

The 47-year-old Ryan frequently has poked fun at himself and his rotund midsection, including after unflattering belly-baring photos of him changing into a Hurricanes jersey during a Florida-Carolina NHL game last month floated around the Internet.

"I'm watching ESPN and I'm like, 'Whoa, that's not a real good shot,' " Ryan said during the NFL combine. "I mean, don't get me wrong, I get hit on all the time by women."

Ryan also partially blamed his weight for him not getting the head coaching job with the Atlanta Falcons after the 2007 season. He thought he was a shoo-in for the job that eventually went to friend and former Baltimore Ravens colleague Mike Smith.

"I think I was too fat," Ryan said with a laugh in December.

Ryan weighed 340 pounds at the start of last season, gaining at least 30 pounds after he was hired by the Jets in January 2009. He even tried a liquid diet during training camp and lost 20 pounds, but quickly gained it right back.

In a lap-band procedure, a plastic band is inserted that encircles a patient's stomach, effectively shrinking it and curbing the appetite.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press