Rex Ryan is "disappointed" about the retirement of Fireman Ed.
Ed Anzalone, the New York Jets most famous fan, handed in his resignation Sunday night after announcing he would not be appearing at future games wearing his trademark white fireman's helmet — though he would remain a fan.
"I was disappointed because I love that guy's passion and energy that he would bring," Ryan said. "He's a great fan. I really admire him. He was great."
Fireman Ed — a New York City firefighter for two decades — became the Jets most recognizable face in the stands and was notable for leading the fans in the "J-E-T-S" chant.
Anzalone blamed confrontations with other Jets fans for walking out before halftime of the Jets-Patriots game on Thanksgiving night. In a guest column to Metro, he said he "did not want to lose my temper and make a stupid mistake."
Fireman Ed — who started wearing Mark Sanchez's No. 6 jersey instead of his familiar No. 42 this season said it became the source of some contention in the stands.
Ryan had nothing but admiration for the Jets biggest booster.
"He was great," said the head coach. "But I think (if) we do our job on the field, the Jets chant will continue."
"I like Fireman Ed and if he could play linebacker I'd play him," said Ryan.