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NFL: New York Jets' Rex Ryan talks about losing 105 pounds

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, July 19 2012 11:00 p.m. MDT

Rex Ryan

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Rex Ryan still loves Mexican food.

Before, he'd eat as many as 12 tacos in one sitting. These days, it's more like one.

The New York Jets coach with the big, boisterous personality never hid that he underwent weight-loss surgery in March 2010. Normally happy to talk — and talk — about anything, Ryan was tight-lipped about the details for more than two years. He wanted to reach the milestone of shedding 100 pounds before he opened that famous mouth.

From a peak of 348 pounds, Ryan is now down to about 243.

"I feel good because I know I look better than I did," he said Thursday, before quickly adding in typical fashion, "which is not saying much."

At a high in his coaching career, he was also hitting a high on the scales. The Jets were about to face the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game after the 2009 season when Ryan happened to weigh himself. He would get short of breath going up stairs but never expected to see the number that left him "mortified": 348.

The 49-year-old Ryan thought a fellow coach was playing a trick on him, putting pressure on the scale while he stood on it.

"There was nobody there. It was just me," Ryan said. "I was shocked. I thought I was about 300 to maybe 310."

He had tried all sorts of diets in the past, losing lots of weight only to gain it all back — and more. Ryan decided to have Lap-Band surgery after hearing the success stories of former players Jamie Dukes and Tony Siragusa.

The device can be adjusted, so Ryan had it loosened a bit when he and his wife recently went to Paris for their 25th anniversary so he could fully sample the French cuisine.

COLTS SIGN LUCK, SHIRLEY: The Indianapolis Colts have signed No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck.

The quarterback's agent and uncle, Will Wilson, confirmed Thursday that the deal had been completed. Terms were not immediately released.

Colts owner Jim Irsay told reporters in late April he expected Luck's deal would be almost identical to the four-year, $22 million contract last year's top pick, Cam Newton, signed.

The Colts also say they have signed free agent defensive tackle Jason Shirley.

A fifth-round draft pick by Cincinnati in 2008, Shirley has played in seven career NFL games for the Bengals and Carolina Panthers. He has eight tackles, 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

MINNESOTA GUV APOLOGIZES: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton apologized Thursday for comparing NFL players in trouble with the law to veterans returning from war.

The first-term Democrat said in a statement that he made a poor analogy when he used the comparison in an interview Tuesday with Minnesota Public Radio.

In that interview, Dayton theorized on the troubles of professional football players, including Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, and said that football was "basically slightly civilized war."

RAMS' QUINN CHARGED WITH DRUNKEN DRIVING: St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn has been charged with drunken driving in suburban St. Louis, police and court officials said Thursday.

Florissant police Capt. Tim Lowery said Quinn was involved in a one-car accident on an exit ramp along Interstate 270 at 5:38 a.m. on July 10. Lowery said the responding officer suspected Quinn was intoxicated and arrested him without incident.

"He cooperated fully," Lowery said. Quinn posted bond that day and was released.

In addition to the drunken-driving charge, Quinn is charged with failure to exercise a high degree of care, and with having no insurance. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 11, said Anna Davis, clerk for the municipal court in Florissant.

BEARS' COLLINS SUSPENDED: The NFL says Chicago Bears defensive tackle Nate Collins has been suspended without pay for the upcoming season opener for violating its substance abuse program.

The punishment was announced Thursday. The league did not say what the violation was.

Collins was also fined an additional game check but will be able to return to the active roster on Sept. 10, a day after the opener against the Indianapolis Colts.

CHARGERS RELEASE VETERAN DE: The San Diego Chargers have released defensive end Luis Castillo.

The seven-year veteran was a standout for the Chargers for much of his career, starting 79 of the 82 games he played, with 276 tackles, including 43 for a loss and 19 sacks.

But he broke his left leg in the 2011 season opener and didn't play again.

STEELERS RELEASE SCOTT: The Pittsburgh Steelers have released veteran offensive tackle Jonathan Scott.

The 29-year-old Scott started 14 games and three playoff games during his two seasons with the Steelers.

PATRIOTS SIGN HIGHTOWER: The New England Patriots signed first-round draft choice Dont'a Hightower on Thursday to a four-year contract.

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