FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Tom Brady has Gisele, and Rex Ryan has Michelle.
They're two of a kind. At least that's how the New York Jets coach sees it.
"I never realized how similar that I am to Tom Brady," Ryan said Monday. "I mean, the obvious physical appearance would be the first thing. The fact that he's married to a supermodel? Hello?"
A smiling Ryan then held up a copy of the December issue of InStyle magazine, which includes an advertisement for women's apparel at NFLShop.com featuring his wife, Michelle.
"Yeah," Ryan said, grinning. "I'm also married to a supermodel."
Brady, the New England Patriots' star quarterback is, of course, married to model Gisele Bundchen.
"I just happened to turn the page of InStyle magazine, page 329," Ryan said, showing off the picture of his wife. "I just realized that we are very similar in that way."
In the ad, a smiling Michelle Ryan is wearing a green and white Jets top, along with a green, white and black jacket while holding a black purse. The ad includes four one-sentence responses to random items such as her fashion finds: "I look for something new and green every week! Like black jeans with green jewelry."
But wait, hold on, Rex. You "just happened" to be reading InStyle magazine?
"Well, you know, you just try to broaden your things," Ryan said, trying to keep a straight face. "And, obviously, with the wardrobe that I have, I'm one of those kind of guys. I was just thumbing through there and just happened to notice that. Page 329."
New York began preparations for its game at New England next Monday night in a meaty matchup of teams with 9-2 records and the AFC East division lead on the line.
"This is huge," Ryan said. "You can't deny the fact that it's two excellent football teams going at it."
Ryan famously said he "didn't come here to kiss Bill Belichick's rings" when he was hired by the Jets in January 2009. He wanted to set the record straight as to how he feels about New England's coach.
"I admire Bill Belichick," Ryan said. "The reason I do is because I think he's the No. 1 coach in this league, and that's indisputable."
Ryan praised Belichick's coaching ability, how he motivates his team and how impressive he is at evaluating talent.
"Do I want to be like him? No, I want to be like myself," Ryan said, "but I want to have the success that he's had though the years. You like to compete against the best and that's why I like going against him."
One of New England's two losses this season came against Cleveland, where Ryan's twin brother, Rob, is the defensive coordinator. The other one came against New York in Week 2.
"Will these two teams meet again? Probably," Ryan said. "There's a good chance of it, so it might not be two this year. It'll probably be another one in the playoffs. You never know. We certainly have to beat these guys."
And, maybe with a little help from his brother as a resource.
"I'm not going to say a word because it could be tampering," Ryan said. "It could be this, it could be that. I don't want to get into that."
So, that's a yes, then?
"It absolutely is a yes," Ryan said, laughing. "No question."