Cue up the theme from “Rocky.”
Marques Douglas is no Muhammad Ali, and he certainly does not float like a butterfly (or sting like a bee, for that matter). But the Jets defensive end is ready to fight Sunday when the Jets face Peyton Manning and the Colts in the AFC Championship Game.
“We’re going to be Mike Tyson in his early years,” said the defensive end. “We’re going to train as hard as [Floyd] Mayweather trains, and we’re going to be as ruthless and relentless as [Manny] Pacquiao.”
But he wasn’t the only Jet to channel his inner boxer Thursday.
“Yeah, we’ve got a puncher's chance like George Foreman would have a punchers chance,” head coach Rex Ryan said during an afternoon news conference.
“We don’t punch just like anybody. We punch like George Foreman.”
That’s comforting news for Jets fans -- especially with the recent hand injury to Shaun Ellis, a critical member of the Jets’ defensive line.
Ellis broke his left hand on the Jets’ first defensive play in their 17-14 victory at San Diego on Sunday, but later returned with a cast wrapped like a club. He opted to forgo surgery for a week in order to play in Sunday’s title game.
Douglas said the moment he saw Ellis walk back onto the field at Qualcomm Stadium, just one thought popped into his head.
“It’s on,” he said. “I expected him to come back. …That’s part of being a defensive lineman. Hey, you gotta be tough.”
Douglas recalled his own painful memories on the field – playing with a broken finger in college, a dislocated elbow back during his days in Baltimore, and trying to play with a torn ACL – against Indianapolis.
“There’s no quit in us,” Douglas said. “We’ll go out there with broken arms, dislocated elbows because we understand that at the end of the day, we want to be winners. And if we can sacrifice a little pain for that ultimate victory, why not?”
When asked about Ellis’ desire to return to action despite the injury, Douglas said: “He’s a warrior. What more do you want?
“Here’s a guy who’s been probably one of the most underrated players in this league. And for him to come out of that locker room with a broken hand saying, ‘I still want to go in there,’ shows his heart.”
He also hinted that Ellis’ club could be a good thing for the Jets.
“If anything – and this might sound crazy,” he said, with a smile. “It gives you another weapon.”