NEW YORK – Tony Dungy came away from his meeting with Rex Ryan "really, really liking" the brash New York Jets coach, but disagreed with the team's decision to play Braylon Edwards five days after his arrest for drunken driving.
Dungy, an analyst for NBC's "Football Night in America," said Sunday night that he spoke with Ryan on Saturday morning after criticizing him last month for his foul language during HBO's "Hard Knocks" series.
He watched practice at the Jets' training facility in Florham Park, N.J., before the team left for Miami to play the Dolphins on Sunday night. Dungy told "The Dan Patrick Show" last month that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should talk to Ryan about his excessive use of obscenities. A disappointed Ryan said Dungy unfairly judged him and invited the former Super Bowl-winning Colts coach to spend a day with the team.
"We did talk about the language and we got that squared away, and I got his thoughts on it," Dungy said. "To be honest, we ended up talking a lot more about the Braylon Edwards situation."
Edwards was benched for the first quarter of the game against the Dolphins after being arrested on drunken-driving charges last Tuesday. The Jets decided to not suspend the wide receiver, and said the league would determine the appropriate discipline once the legal process played out.
"I asked him what he was going to do, and he basically explained — just like he did to our crew — what he was going to do," said Dungy, who added he would've benched Edwards. "He told me he felt Braylon had been punished enough. He had been embarrassed in the media, is going to lose money in free agency, so he didn't feel like he had to pile on him."
The Jets opted to not challenge the collective bargaining agreement, saying any punishment they would dole out other than what the NFL eventually decides, could violate the CBA.
"I don't necessarily agree with that," Dungy said. "I think you have to discipline players. You have to let them know what you expect. When I did it, I wasn't worried about the collective bargaining agreement when I coached."
Dungy cited his own example, when he cut Colts starting defensive lineman Ed Johnson in 2008 after he was arrested for possession of marijuana.