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Colts-Jets matchup a clash of coaching styles

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan talks to

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan talks to the media following practice as the team prepares for the AFC Championship game on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. Credit: Photo by Joe Epstein

Those who have followed the Jets all season are pretty used to the bluster. The Rex Ryan bravado that we've all come to know (and love) is in full-effect this week with him talking about everything from his caloric intake to the Jets being the loosest team ever to play in an AFC Championship Game.

He talked about letting the players enjoy the media spotlight as a "reward" for their accomplishments. He has embraced the spotlight on himself and the team, and said he rarely says anything he regrets.

"There's never a disrespectful thing," he said. "I don't try to say anything disrespectful to the opponents that we're playing. It's all about our football team and the belief that we have. The only time I wish I had a mute button is when NFL Films has me mic'd up for a game. Sometimes that one's brutal, but you don't even realize it."

On the other side, though, Jim Caldwell plays things a lot closer to the coaching sweater vest.

"It's been our M.O. that we really try to focus on the things we can control and try to keep our sights set on the opponent," the soft-spoken rookie coach said. "Obviously they're a very, very tough team and we have to use all of our energy making sure we are doing all of the little things right to have an opportunity to compete with them."

So the teams are preparing for the AFC Championship Game in their two homes. One's a frat house. The other is a corporate office.

That difference in philosophy was made pretty clear last month when the Colts rested their starters late in the game against the Jets to prepare for the playoffs and essentially forego any chance of a perfect season. Think Rex Ryan would ever do that?

"Our objective was to put us in the best position to win the first game of the playoffs," Caldwell said, defending the move for the zillionth time. "That was key. Now we focus on the next game and we'll go about that in a manner that we feel is suited to get us a victory in that game. And so on and so forth. I don't agree with [the criticism] but I can tell you this: At the end of the year there's only one happy team in this league and that's the team that wins it all. We all know that. We're all judged by that. So our goal is to win it all."

And what does Caldwell think of Ryan's style?

"I really try to focus in on us," he said. "I think as Rex describes his team, you all have to deal with that aspect. I have to deal with what we do and what we focus in on and we're just trying to get ourselves better prepared, better equipped, a better team than we were last week."

And if boring makes them better, Caldwell is all for it.

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