FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- All the trash talk exchanged this week between the Jets and Dolphins was harmless fun, safety Yeremiah Bell said after Friday's practice. But Bell said there is a danger that it might turn personal during the heat of battle Sunday at MetLife Stadium, and he added that if it does, the Jets "will be waiting for them."
No one has a better understanding of the AFC East rivalry than Bell, who spent the first eight years of his career with the Dolphins before joining the Jets this season.
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"It was the same thing when I was there, trash talk back and forth," Bell said. "It's all in good fun. But you still have to go out there on Sunday and prove it. I'm sure they're going to be pretty excited to get up here and get the game on. We'll be waiting for them."
Tempers were hot after the Jets' 23-20 overtime victory Sept. 23 in Miami. Dolphins running back Reggie Bush was knocked out in the second quarter with a knee injury and later interpreted some remarks by Jets coach Rex Ryan as an indication they were trying to hurt him.
The Jets lost Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis to a non-contact knee injury that ended his season, and Bush suggested it was a matter of karma, saying, "What goes around comes around. They talked all week about putting 'hot sauce' on this and that, and they ended up losing their best player for the rest of the season. So it's sad that it happened because of that, but I'm going to be back."
Earlier this week, Ryan said Bush owes Revis an apology, but Bush hasn't offered one. Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie fired back at Bush.
"I ain't going to say what I really want to say about Reggie Bush," Cromartie said. "To me, there's no such thing as karma. A freak accident happened. For [Bush] to come out and say something like that, to me, it's unprofessional. It's not showing any kind of sportsmanship at all."
Bell said a few Dolphins were angry after the hit on Bush. "We don't play dirty," Bell insisted. "Are we going to come after people? Yeah. We're not intensely trying to hurt anybody, but when we swarm to the ball, we are trying to put some hurt on you."
Asked if the teams might exchange cheap shots in retaliation, Bell said, "I think so. It can get personal."
Bell said he doesn't believe he and fellow safety LaRon Landry, who was in on the Bush hit, will be targeted. But Bell added, "If that's what they want to do, we always welcome it. It doesn't bother us any. If anybody out there wants to come at us, we're waiting."
Ryan said he expects an "extremely physical game" but one that is within the rules.
"Extracurricular things, nobody wants to see that," Ryan said. As the coach then left his daily media briefing, he laughed and said to a reporter, "Who am I kidding? We all want to see it."
It was a joke. Honest.