Inside The Bills

Ryan raves about Jim Leonhard

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2009 – 5:21 pm

Former Bills safety Jim Leonhard was a guy Jets head coach Rex Ryan had his eye on for a long time.

Ryan actually wanted to sign him out of college after he went undrafted, but Buffalo obviously landed him. But when Leonhard was out there and available after Buffalo released him in 2008, Ryan, then Baltimore’s defensive coordinator did a lot to get him on his roster.

“He’s smart, he’s tough, he’s durable and just a heck of a football player,” said Ryan. “When he came to our place in Baltimore it was actually on a two-day tryout. And then when I told Ozzie [Newsome, the Ravens GM] I really liked him and how much we really needed him and I wanted him to go through training camp, we had actually just drafted two safeties.

“Of course, we had Ed Reed and Duwan Landry, so we were set at our starters when we drafted two safeties, yet I still wanted Jim Leonhard because I knew he was a heck of a  football player, a special football player. Ozzie said ‘You can have him, but you’ve got to cut three players (laughing).’ So we cut those three guys and Jim’s now playing with me and the Jets and doing a great job.”


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