Ryan avoids rocky Rhodes

November, 28, 2012
11/28/12
2:30
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan, who had plenty to say about Kerry Rhodes after trading him to the Cardinals in 2010, clammed up Wednesday when asked about the safety he once described as "selfish" and lazy.

"You know what? All that is in the past," Ryan said. "I know one thing: He's on a very impressive defense. It's one of the best defenses in the league. ... That's my concern."

Pressed, Ryan added, "That's in the past. I'm not going to get into it."

On Sunday, Rhodes faces his old team for the first time.

Ryan is a player's coach who never trashes players, current or former. But in his book, "Play Like You Mean It," he torches Rhodes. The book was released in the spring of 2011.

"He was a selfish-ass guy," Ryan wrote. "He wouldn't work, and he was a Hollywood type, flashy and needing attention. I don't mind flashy, but your work ethic had better back it up. He was a talented SOB, that's for sure, but he wasn't one of us."

Rhodes clashed with members of Ryan's coaching staff and was traded to the Cards for fourth- and seventh-round draft picks. In a tweet after the book was released, Rhodes referred to Ryan's comments as "classless."

"Kerry is doing a good job for us," Cards coach Ken Whisenhunt said on a conference call with the New York media. "He’s been a good starter [and] has made a number of good plays for us."

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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