FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Unintentionally or not, Giants rookie Andre Williams delivered the latest salvo in the ongoing turf war between the Jets and the Giants. But Rex Ryan & Co. expect to have the last laugh Friday night in the annual "MetLife Bowl.''
Williams made headlines Wednesday when he declared that the Giants are the "real New York team.'' It didn't take long for the Jets to catch wind of his proclamation.
"See you Friday Mr. Williams #JetLifeeeeee,'' nose tackle Damon Harrison tweeted.
And Ryan couldn't resist taking his own shot at Williams.
"You've got guys popping off,'' he said. "You have the running back from Boston College, I see where he's already saying the Giants are the best team in New York and all that kind of stuff. The last time I saw him, he was getting smoked by Clemson.''
The Jets coach was referring to Williams' 24 carries for 70 yards in a 24-14 loss to the Tigers last year. Ryan's son Seth is a walk-on receiver at Clemson, and Jets rookie quarterback Tajh Boyd led the Tigers' fourth-quarter comeback that day.
"I will say that kid's a good back, though. He is. I was like, 'Is anybody going to tackle him?' '' Ryan said of Williams. "I have a funny feeling he's going to get some Riddells [helmets] put on him. But we'll see. It will be a competitive thing. I know he will be pumped up. Trust me, our guys will be pumped up, too.''
Traditionally, the next-to-last preseason game serves as a dress rehearsal for the starters. But the "Snoopy Bowl'' is all about pride -- especially for the Jets, who feel they've long been overshadowed by the Giants.
"Oh yeah, it's definitely a bragging-rights game,'' said Geno Smith, who threw one touchdown pass and three interceptions in the Jets' 24-21 overtime victory over the Giants last year.
"I look forward to it. Also, it's another chance for our offense to get out there to continue to get better and to continue to develop our skills. It's a tough test, man. They've got some tough corners on defense and they bring a lot of different blitz packages, so we've got to be ready for everything.''
Linebacker Calvin Pace also acknowledged there's a little extra motivation when playing their in-stadium rivals, even in the preseason.
"I like playing against the Giants because they pose different challenges for us,'' Pace said. "They run the ball well, have good guys on the perimeter, Eli [Manning] is a good quarterback. So I like playing against them, and why not win?
"I always feel like it is a good measuring stick for us moving forward into the season.''
"I think there is something to it,'' he said. "You don't get to play each other very often. It's kind of a one-shot deal.
"This game is always a physical game. I think guys like each other, respect each other and things like that. This is the only time you get to play each other and I think it amps up a bit. I really do.''