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Rex: Giants' ring doesn't add motivation

Jets head coach Rex Ryan made a featured

Jets head coach Rex Ryan made a featured appearance at the Long Island Association's annual meeting held at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. (Feb. 15, 2012) Photo Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

If Rex Ryan is bothered that the team he doesn't want to play second fiddle to is basking in its Super Bowl XLVI glow, he sure is hiding it well.

Ryan insists the Giants' run to their fourth Lombardi Trophy -- a trek that truly began Dec. 24 with a 24-19 win over the Jets -- hasn't added fuel to his desire to make good on his countless Super Bowl guarantees.

"Nah, you can't be more motivated than we are," the Jets coach said Wednesday before the Long Island Association's annual luncheon at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.

"A goal of ours was to host a playoff game. Well, to do that, you have to get in front of New England -- that's hard to do. I drove around for self-motivation. Like 'Ooh, gosh.' I want to be playing a playoff game at our stadium next year.

"But to be more motivated as an organization because this team won or that team won, no, absolutely not. You can't be more motivated than we are."

The Jets were in the same situation as their crosstown rivals when they met on Christmas Eve: Their playoff fate was in their hands. Wins in their final two games would have cemented a postseason berth for a third straight year since Ryan took over in 2009. But things seemed to unravel once Victor Cruz turned a 10-yard pass into a 99-yard touchdown just before halftime to give the Giants a 10-7 lead.

"We had momentum in that game," Ryan said, "and then when he made that play, you could sense the Giants took the momentum of that game over and they carried it through the Super Bowl.

"So you've got to give them all the props in the world. They found a way to get it done."

Ryan said the Jets are in the initial stages of prepping for free agency and the draft. He didn't offer much insight on any needs they will try to address.

"I think we are a good football team," he said. "We'll look at all the guys that are out there, like we always do. I think Mike Tannenbaum does an outstanding job of identifying players that we think can help us, and that's what you are always trying to do is build your team up."

Ryan recently met with owner Woody Johnson after spending a few days in Indianapolis during Super Bowl week. They had dinner together and discussed ways to make sure the locker-room problems that were prevalent in 2011 don't bubble up again.

"We had a great meeting," Ryan said. "We all have identified things that we think we have to get better at as an organization and we are excited about moving forward. We're learning from what happened this past season and, hey, we've got some scars from it. There's no question. But I respect that and if you learn from it, then you can get better from it. And that's what we are going to do.

"We're excited about what's getting ready to happen."

Later, during an open discussion with the luncheon's attendees, the talk turned to Super Bowl rings.

"I already have one," Ryan said, referring to jewelry he collected as an assistant with the 2000 Ravens, "and I plan on getting another one -- quickly."

New York Sports