Remember Lee Marvin in 1967’s The Dirty Dozen, gathering the Army’s worst ex-soldier convicts and turning them into a team to attempt a suicidal assault on a meeting of Nazi officers at a chateau?
Meet Rex Ryan, coach of the Buffalo Bills, who has no compunction about hiring players and staff with questionable personal histories, including former Jets linebacker IK Enemkpali, claimed on waivers on Wednesday the day after the Jets released him for breaking Geno Smith’s jaw. Enemkpali had also been arrested in 2011 for battery after he hit an undercover police officer during a bar fight.
Some members of the Jets defended Enemkpali to The New York Daily News, describing Smith as “up in (Enemkpali’s) face,” pointing and touching the linebacker. One anonymous player said, “Geno deserved it.”
Smith allegedly skipped a promised appearance at Enemkpali’s charity football camp and blew off reimbursing the linebacker $600 for the plane ticket he bought him. One of the unnamed players told the Daily News, “That’ll get a man hit every time, especially one that hasn’t earned respect.”
Ryan has also kept Aaron Kromer, suspended for the first six games of 2015 after an assault-and-battery arrest from a charge dropped later, as offensive line coach, picked up guard Richie Incognito, who left football for a year after accusations that he bullied Miami Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin in 2013, and grabbed Percy Harvin, whose anger management problems have been well-documented in stints with the Vikings, Seahawks, and Jets.
Ryan, perhaps the most colorful coach in the league, has assembled a team, like Lee Marvin’s, that makes him look low-key in comparison.