Rex Ryan Lost 106 Pounds And Has A Secret Sensei That May Or May Not Be Shadow-Coaching The Jets

Remember when we all learned together that Rex Ryan isn't as fat as he used to be? Back then, we only had a disconcerting photograph of a relatively skeletal Rex at which to marvel, accompanied by precious few details on how the coach lost the weight, and how many tacos he typically ate when he was eating tacos. There are still a few mysteries about Ryan's transformation (we'll get to those in a second) but first, the New York Post shed a little light on how big fat Rex became somewhat overweight Rex.

From Friday's front page (not the sport's page, like, the front of the newspaper) story:

"My surgeon told me one time, ‘How many tacos do you eat?' because I told him how much I love Mexican food," Ryan recalled. "I said, ‘I probably can eat about 12 tacos.' He's like, ‘OK.' Never flinched. He said by the time this is really working, you'll eat about a half or three-quarters of a taco and that's it. I was like, ‘Why would I want to do that?' And he said, no, you'll be satisfied. That's exactly where I'm at now."

There you have it, folks. Cut your taco intake by about 11-and-a-half tacos per sitting and you too could be "a svelte 242 pounds." But this is the Jets, so it's actually way weirder than it sounds at first.

The Star-Ledger has the scoop:

[Ryan's] approach has been humbling and painstaking, including a reckoning with a yellow pad of paper in Hawaii, a frank speech to the entire football operations staff in February and consultations with a secret "sensei" - his word - whose identity he promises to withhold until his redemption campaign is complete [...]

Perhaps for many reasons, Ryan has enlisted the help of a mysterious mentor he calls "my little sensei," the Japanese word for a "wise teacher."

The sensei's identity is intriguingly guarded within the walls of the Jets facility. He is male and does not work in the building. He and Ryan speak a few times a month. He offers advice and perspective, and "really has me look at myself," Ryan said. But other details are scarce.

Asked if the sensei is a former coach, Ryan says, "He's a coach of mine." Thurman, one of Ryan's most trusted confidants, pretends not to know about the sensei before jumping up from the interview table. Tannenbaum squirms similarly, offering only that the sensei is a "special person who has bettered all of us."

"After we have the season that we're going to have," Ryan says coyly, "I'll mention his name."

A commenter on NJ.com theorizes that the sensei is Buddy Ryan, but it's tough to imagine Rex Ryan referring to his 81 year-old, Kevin Gilibride-punching father as "my little sensei." There must be another answer. Here's what we know: he's male, he doesn't work in the Jets facility, he's "a special person" who has "bettered all of us," and Rex Ryan thinks it's important that his identity be a secret. Could it be that the 106 pounds Ryan lost has become a sentient being, and is now covertly advising Ryan on time management, healthy living, and football strategy? It has a name?

Kinja it up, people. We can crack this one by the end of the day.

[NY Post, NJ.com, picture via NFL.com]