Rex Ryan was champing at the bit in more ways than one at the top of his news conference that started shortly after noon today.
Of course, he opened with a soliloquy on how pumped up he was to put the ball down at the 3-yard line on the new Cortland grass field (which got its finishing touches over night from a helicopter blow-drying the sod) and let the offense and defense have at each other.
"As a coach, I always love this day," he said. "The first day of hitting and you really get to take people to the ground. It's the only way you can do goal line. You can't go walkthrough. You gotta go full speed."
But after that riff, Rex shifted gears and offered some more heartfelt words about his maturing team.
"Another thing I want to say — this is a hungry football team," he said. "This team wants to win and you just sense it. Last year, to be so close and still fall short of making the playoffs I'm sure is part of it.
"But there's two ways to respond. One way is to just come out there and go through the motions. The other way is you're so hungry. You can't wait. You just want to win. Everything's about winning.
"That's where this team is. That's what I sense. Maybe it's me, but I feel it. I feel the passion, the energy every day out on the field."
Then just when reporters were getting ready to suit up and help the cause, Ryan segued to a more personal matter.
"I would say I feel hungry, but that's understood."
This is day five of Rex's the five-day liquid portion of his new diet.
"About 12 hours to go," he gushed. "I think I'm going to do the Cheerios and skim milk in the morning. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to that."
He seemed to really mean it, too.