Some Jets fans worry that coach Rex Ryan's snarky comments about Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his "It's me against Bill Belichick" pronouncement might serve to send his team into a lion's den of ill will Sunday at Gillette Stadium. But like many Jets, fullback Tony Richardson (pictured above joking with Ryan) simply shrugged it off as so many words.
After all, how much more intense can a divisional playoff game get than one against an AFC East rival? "You've still got to go play the game," Richardson said. "I mean, yeah, it's going to be a hostile environment. I don't think anyone's going to jump out of the stands. Hopefully. It is what it is.
"I guess it's one of those things where it's enough already that they're in our division and we've battled year after year after year. But now, you heighten it because it's the playoffs. Regardless if people talk, it's going to be a tough, physical football game."
Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said the Jets always go into games trying to be more physical than their opponents, so, nothing changes in that regard. "I think Rex is approaching it the way he wants to approach it," Cotchery said. "He's getting himself ready for the game, and he asks all of his players to get ready for the game as well. It's not going to be one guy."
Sure, it's always possible Ryan's bravado provides bulletin-board material for the opponent, but how much does that really affect execution on the field? If anything, Ryan's approach might take a little heat off his players, not to mention providing some comic relief during an intense week.
"We don't worry about things like that," safety Eric Smith said. "It really doesn't have an effect on the game. Whatever is said, it all comes down to the play on the field. That's just Rex being Rex. It's funny."