It's personal – again. Last week New York Jets boisterous head coach Rex Ryan took it personal saying that he had to beat finally Peyton Manning in a meaningful spot; he did. This week it's personal once again as Ryan has proclaimed that it’s him vs. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
Ryan is clearly trying to put as much attention him himself (and take as much off his team) as possible. In his press conference this week Rex Ryan had this to say.
"This is about Bill Belichick versus Rex Ryan," Ryan said. "There's no question, it's personal. It's about him against myself. That's what it's going to come down to."
As for their Dec. 6 meeting in Foxborough where the Jets were humiliated on Monday Night Football 45-3, Ryan said,
“I was outcoached in that game. I said it then, I'm saying it now. Belichick, I recognize the fact this is a Hall of Fame coach. He'll go down in history as maybe the greatest football coach in the history of this game, or going to be close to it. He was at that level that week and I was not. For whatever reason, I never had my team prepared the way it should've been prepared. That falls right down on me."
On his weekly spot on 'The Michael Kay Show' on 1050 ESPN Radio Ryan continued the theme.
"You can't want to beat somebody worse than I want to win this one. And, really, I'll say the same thing about last week. I wanted to beat Peyton Manning as bad as I've ever wanted anything in my life. This game, maybe more so. [It's because of] the fact that we got beat up there. Did they rub our noses in it or whatever you want to call it? Yeah, maybe a little. So, yeah, absolutely. That's the truth.”
Ryan has been busy trying to put take all the pressure off his players this week but I don’t think that Antonio Cromartie got the memo. On Tuesday the enigmatic Jets cornerback stated that he hates Tom Brady and went so far as to call him an “A-hole” to which Brady jokingly responded, “I’ve been called worse.” On Wednesday Cromartie didn’t back down daring Brady to come after him stating, "I hope he'll throw the ball 10 times my way. Make him pay. That's the only thing you can do."
Rex Ryan will continue "Living in the Limelight" with all eyes on him trying to take the pressure off hi s team by attempting to put it all on himself, but it won’t be easy.
Starting tackle (and former Patriot) Damien Woody was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list because of an Achilles injury and Brad Smith, did not practice Wednesday because of a groin injury.
The only Patriot to miss Wednesday's practice was defensive lineman Myron Pryor, who's been hampered by a bad back. Neither running back Danny Woodhead nor offensive lineman Dan Connolly, both of whom have been sideline because of concussions, was on Wednesday's practice report, meaning they've been cleared medically to play.
At the moment, here’s where we stand with regard to the injury report for both the Patriots and Jets.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
DID NOT PARTICIPATE:
DL Myron Pryor (back)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Tully Banta-Cain (groin), WR Deion Branch (knee), LB Jermaine Cunningham (calf), TE Aaron Hernandez (hip), DE Eric Moore (hamstring), T Sebastian Vollmer (shin)
FULL PARTICIPATION: CB Kyle Arrington (elbow), QB Tom Brady (right shoulder/foot)
NEW YORK JETS
OUT: T Damien Woody (achilles, placed on IR)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: G Brandon Moore (back), WR Brad Smith (groin)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Santonio Holmes (quadricep), S James Ihedigbo (knee, ankle), CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring)
FULL PARTICIPATION: CB Antonio Cromartie (groin), TE Ben Hartsock (back), C Nick Mangold (shoulder), DT Sione Pouha (back), RB Tony Richardson (finger), QB Mark Sanchez (right shoulder), LB Bryan Thomas (ankle)
Hank Koebler will have his game preview for all the AFC and NFC Divisional Round Playoff Games for you later in the week along with some insight on how the Jets can use a rested groined Brad Smith in his TRY THIS segment so stay tuned!
Lastly, as a life long Jets fan I feel compelled to stand up for my guy Antonio Cromarite (no small task) so I'll do my best to back him up. Cromartie's stats are better than Brady's. Fathering 9 kids with 8 women in 6 states is much more impressive than throwing 335 passes without an INT; his 36 TD passes not withstanding. - Mike Cardano
Mike is the founder of Around the Horn Baseball and Xtra Point Football.
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