Boston Herald Blog Entry On Jets/UMass' Ihedigbo - UMass Athletics

Boston Herald Blog Entry On Jets/UMass' Ihedigbo

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Check out UMass alum Dan Duggan's Boston Herald Blog Entry on fellow alum and New York Jet James Ihedigbo.

Earlier this week, I caught up with an old friend, James Ihedigbo. You may know James as the hard hitting safety and special teams ace from the Jets; I know him best from our battles on the intramural courts at UMass. He didn't seem overly interested in reliving the time my squad beat him and his football teammates. Apparently he has more important things on his mind...whatever.

Why do Rex Ryan's players love him? Jets safety James Ihedigbo explains

IhedigboEarlier this week, I caught up with an old friend, James Ihedigbo. You may know James as the hard hitting safety and special teams ace from the Jets; I know him best from our battles on the intramural courts at UMass. He didn't seem overly interested in reliving the time my squad beat him and his football teammates. Apparently he has more important things on his mind...whatever.

Not all of our conversation related to those epic battles at Boyden Gym. We spoke some about the Northampton native's unlikely journey to the NFL, which you can read about in Sunday's Herald. We also talked about Jets coach Rex Ryan.

As much heat as Ryan gets for his antics, the Jets players always back their coach. Why is that?

"It's great," Ihedigbo said of playing for Ryan. "You're your own man. He treats us like grown men. He allows us to speak as long as you're not jeopardizing the well-being of the football team. The team looks out for each other and everybody has each other's backs."

While Ryan's bluster gets most of the attention, Ihedigbo said the coach has been successful because of his ability as a teacher.

"Even better than that, he's a great teacher of the game," Ihedigbo said. "I've learned so much with him as my head coach. His ability to put guys in position to make plays - it's very rewarding to have a coach like that."

Ihedigbo also stood by teammate Antonio Cromartie, who made some inflammatory remarks about Tom Brady.You might have heard something about that earlier in the week.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion," Ihedigbo said. "That's my brother, so to speak, and I have his back no matter what he says. I'm with him."

Ihedigbo said the Jets free speech translates to the field, where they play with reckless abandon.

"It's playing like a Jet," Ihedigbo said. "It's playing relentless, it's playing like your hair is on fire. That's what (Ryan) asks of us and that's what we do. He applies that in his coaching style. With that, the outcome is what the outcome is. We'll go into games with that mindset."

Read more on Ihedigbo in Sunday's Herald...

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