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Rex Ryan flips the idea of "acting coach" on its head

In That's My Boy, a new comedy from Adam Sandler (out Friday), the Jets' coach cameos as Patriots-worshipping lawyer Jim Nance (named after the ex--Pats fullback), whose office is decorated with Belichick-and-Brady idolatry. SI spoke to Ryan about playing turncoat for the camera.

Were you a method actor for this movie?

I did a lot of studying. I went back and watched all the Robert De Niro movies to help me get into character.... No, when Adam Sandler called I thought it was [defensive coordinator] Mike Pettine busting my chops. I said, "Are you kidding me?"

Your character has a Bill Belichick bobblehead. Will you send Belichick a Rex Ryan bobblehead?

Shoot. I don't want him to send it back in pieces.

We heard that the film crew was mainly from Boston.

They were. I knew not to get any drinks from them—no sodas, no coffees. I wasn't going to take that chance.

Do you plan on passing along acting tips to your players?

We'll definitely have a team meeting, and I'll lay out my pointers. [Laughs.] Yeah, right.

What's the next role you're dying to play?

I'm hoping to star opposite Heather Locklear. That was my goal when I started this.