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December 14, 2012

Ryan says penalty was 'an embarrassing moment for me,' that situation surrounding game had him on edge

Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said getting a penalty called on him last week was “an embarrassing moment for me” and that he was just so amped up because of the circumstances surrounding the game, he wanted to fight.

“I think we all wanted to fight, even though you’re a coach,” Ryan said Friday, talking to reporters about the penalty in the third quarter – officially, for unsportsmanlike conduct on the Cowboys bench, but unofficially for being out on the field, while he was mouthing with Cincinnati guard Andre Smith.

“I think the whole situation made everybody a little on edge, and unfortunately, I was a little on too much edge, probably,” Ryan said. “I think in this business, there are a lot of fighters and you don’t know how to react emotionally in a situation like that. And sometimes, obviously that was the wrong thing to do. I was a little over-excited, and I was a little bit more ready to fight, I think, than probably I should have been.”

The penalty gave the Bengals a first down at the 9-yard line, wiping out a sack on first-and-15 from the 17.

“I don’t ever want to do that, be a detriment to the team,” Ryan said. “Thank God we were great in the red zone. That was an embarrassing moment for me. I think I’m smarter than that.”

But Ryan kept his sense of humor. He said some of it comes down to the family name.

“I am a Ryan. My last name is Ryan. I am American, and if somebody bad-mouths the Ryan name or America, I tend to screw up and go at them,” he said. “That’s a mistake. That’s something I’ll learn from and it won’t happen again.”

So, was Smith bad-mouthing Ryan or America?

Ryan smiled.

“I think he was attacking the American flag,” he said, tongue-in-cheek. “We’re America’s Team, and he was attacking America.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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