Rex Ryan Used Point Spread to Motivate Ravens Defense in 2007 vs. Undefeated Patriots (BetSided Interview)

Rex Ryan.
Rex Ryan. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, I got the chance to sit down with former NFL head coach and current ESPN analyst, Rex Ryan.

We talked about a variety of topics, including the two teams he used to coach, the Bills and Jets. It's no surprise that he thinks the Bills are the best team in the NFL. He compared them to the San Francisco 49ers from the '80s, a team that his mentor, Bill Walsh, used to coach.

"Look at this Buffalo Bills team," Ryan said. "They're built like the old San Francisco 49ers, and that's kind of who they remind me of. Now, obviously, the quarterback's a different cat, but he's absolutely terrific. I don't see anyone beating the Buffalo Bills this year."

I also asked him who his favorite dark horse team was this season. His answer, which had been a popular one throughout the NFL offseason, was the Philadelphia Eagles.

"I like the way that team's built," Ryan said. "They make the trade for A.J. Brown, and look at the difference he already had in Week 1 for that football team.

"I think their offense is built to play in December and January, when you need to play and be at your best."

I also asked him if the point spread was ever something he looked at back in his coaching days. In typical NFL head coach fashion, he said that all he was trying to do was win by one point. The spread was never a concern of his, but he did mention a time when he was with the Baltimore Ravens as their defensive coordinator when the point spread did get brought up in a meeting with his players.

"I think we were 16-point underdogs one time I was in Baltimore, we played the Patriots when they were undefeated that year," Ryan said. "I'm like 'man, this team might not even score 16 points,' I remember telling my team that."

The Patriots were, in fact, 18.5-point favorites in that Monday Night Football game. The Ravens gave their undefeated season a scare too, as New England barely scraped by with a 31-28 win. Baltimore covered the 18.5-point spread by a mile.

Check out the full interview above. We also talked about the Toronto Maple Leafs, what he'd set the spread at for a Bills vs. Jets game, and his partnership with Dr. Scholls as a foot expert himself.