The trash-talking between the Giants and the Jets went into overtime on Saturday, spilling into the postgame locker rooms of both teams. The fighting may have taken place on the field, but as they left the turf the fighting words were just beginning.
In an ESPN interview as he walked off the field – apparently moments after a verbal confrontation with Rex Ryan – Giants running back Brandon Jacobs called the Jets coach a “very disrespectful -------.” (The dashed out word? Like a combination of bastion and mustard.)
“I’m glad we came out here and gave it to him,” Jacobs said in the interview. “I wish I got a chance to go over there on that sideline. He is disrespectful. I understand why (Kevin) Gilbride and his Pops (Buddy Ryan) got into it a long time ago because they all talk too much.”
Later, after a league-mandated cooling-off period that apparently did not work, Jacobs was still frothing about Ryan and their encounter. According to Jacobs, he was approached by the Jets coach while the two were leaving the field.
“I didn’t say too much to him,” Jacobs said. “He told me to shut the ---- up and wait until we win the Super Bowl and I said I would punch him in his face … I told him ‘Out of all of these Giants football players on the team, you’re talking to the wrong one.’”
Ryan acknowledged that he and Jacobs had what he termed a “private conversation.”
“That’s all I'll leave it as,” Ryan said in his postgame press conference. “Whatever. He doesn’t like me. I respect him, but I could care less about him."
Other Jets, though, came to their coach’s defense.
LaDainian Tomlinson said that Ryan is “not a loud mouth” but a “powerful guy that motivates his guys to play the way he wants them to play and that’s it.” Linebacker Bart Scott told ESPN that Jacobs pointing at someone else talking too much was like “the pot calling the kettle black.”
Jacobs admitted that he can dish some trash talk as well, and he joked about how that is something that Tom Coughlin has been trying to reign in since his rookie year. Jacobs said he was not surprised that only hours after the Jets lost to the Eagles last Sunday, Ryan came out swinging at the Giants.
“We didn’t really pay attention to it because we knew that’s what we were going to get as soon as he had an opportunity to run his big fat mouth,” Jacobs said. “We knew that.”
If Jacobs is a free agent this offseason or next, he can probably cross the Jets or any team that Ryan coaches off his list.
It’s unclear just how heated the confrontation got between Ryan and Jacobs – although there are photographs of the two brushing shoulders and exchanging what appear to be angry words -- or even who started it. Jacobs said it wasn’t him.
“He came out of nowhere and started talking to me,” Jacobs said. “The same way his Pops went at Gilbride and ran afterwards.” Jacobs was again referencing the infamous Buddy Ryan punch that was thrown at Gilbride when they were coordinators together in Houston in 1993.
There were plenty of other subtle and verbal jabs between the two teams. The Giants felt disrespected that the Jets used black curtains to cover up the Super Bowl logos that are painted on the wall outside their locker room; the Jets do that for all of their home games. “We all saw that as a sign of disrespect to this organization,” tackle David Diehl said after removing the curtains along with Zak DeOssie and Lawrence Tynes after the game.
Tomlinson, meanwhile, said the Jets were disrespected by the Giants’ classier-than-thou, above-the-trash-talk attitude during the week, even when the Giants were giving at times as much as they were getting.
“What are we, bums over here?” Tomlinson said. “We felt like we were disrespected.”
Of course the ultimate disrespect was the loss, which crumpled the Jets’ playoff chances while the Giants advanced to a winner-take-all play-in game against the Cowboys.
Jacobs was asked if he has a message for Ryan.
“You need to shut up,” he said. “That’s that. He’s a great coach, comes from a great coaching family, but he needs to shut up.”
And if you think that's the last word on this topic, you don't know Ryan or Jacobs very well.