Whether it was as a defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, or now as a head coach of the New York Jets, Rex Ryan has seen a lot of Ben Roethlisberger while coaching in the NFL. Going against Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers is no small task, but even Ryan admits he hasn't see this side of Big Ben before.
"I've never seen him this hot," Ryan told Steelers.com via conference call alluding to the record-breaking pace Roethlisberger has set the past two weeks by throwing for nearly 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Other than the enormous output coming from No. 7 in Pittsburgh, Ryan sees the same old Ben.
"The same guy I've always seen, so it's the same nightmare. He's still a great quarterback. He can make all the throws and hangs in there. Their vertical passing game has been absolutely tremendous. He's really using (Le'Veon) Bell out of the backfield a bunch, and that's a big help. Antonio Brown has been lighting it up, as well."
Those facts are undeniable but, when asked about how Ryan would assess Roethlisberger's past two outings, his answer was very definitive.
"I don't know if the NFL has ever seen a two-game stretch like this, 12 touchdowns in two games."
Someone might want to pass a memo to Rex stating that the NFL hasn't ever seen this happen before, as it was a new NFL record for passing touchdowns in two games.
Ryan has a rich history against Roethlisberger and the Steelers, but one that has always favored the Black-and-Gold. Ryan was 5-8 as an assistant with the Ravens against the Steelers, and he holds a 1-3 record as head coach of the Jets, including the post-season.
Even with the praise given, Ryan would love nothing more than to somehow upset the 6-3 Steelers at MetLife Stadium, propelling his team to only their second win and possibly beginning to make a stronger case for retaining his job as the team's head coach.