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Jet stream

Ryan has lots more to say on facing Belichick and Patriots

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By Shalise Manza Young
Globe Staff / January 11, 2011

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Rex Ryan knows only one way to be when it comes to talking about his New York Jets: Loud.

And over the last few days, the Mouth of the Meadowlands has turned up the volume.

On Saturday night, after the Jets beat the Colts on a last-second field goal, it was Ryan’s players who did all the talking. Ryan, on that night at least, said he wanted to savor the victory before talking about the Patriots.

But then came yesterday, and Ryan was back in front of the reporters who have come to expect the unexpected from the second-year head coach, whether he’s donning a wig and plumping his belly to look like his brother and fellow coach Rob, or holding up a photo of his wife in a Jets jersey and labeling her a supermodel just like Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen.

Ryan didn’t disappoint, and inspired more blog headlines and talk radio fervor with his comments.

After praising cornerback Darrelle Revis for the job he did on Colts receiver Reggie Wayne in their wild-card win, Ryan was asked about the Patriots’ 45-3 win over New York Dec. 6 on “Monday Night Football.’’

“That game, I was outcoached in that game. I was saying it then, I’m saying it now,’’ Ryan said. “I recognize that this week, this is about Bill Belichick vs. Rex Ryan — there’s no question it’s personal, it’s about him against myself, that’s what it’s going to come down to.

“When you look at it, both teams are very even. When you look at the players, our teams are solid across the board. When you look at the assistant coaches, we’re on level ground. So this is going to be about me raising my level against Bill Belichick. I recognize he’s the best, but I’m just trying to be the best on Sunday and I plan on being the best on Sunday. That’s what it is, I recognize my level has to come up and he’s going to get my best shot, he’s going to get everything I have on Sunday and if he slips at all we’re going to beat him.’’

But as far as Belichick is concerned, unless he and Ryan are donning pads, Sunday’s game is more about the players than the head coaches.

“Well, I might have a little quickness on him. He’s probably got a little more strength and power on me,’’ Belichick answered good naturedly when asked about Ryan’s comment. “I don’t think you’ll see either one of us out there making any blocks or tackles or runs or throws or catches. At least you won’t see me doing it. It’s probably a good thing for our team.’’

Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio and linebackers coach Matt Patricia were brought in on the fun during the midday conference call.

Caserio believes Belichick’s assessment that he’d have the edge in quickness but Ryan the edge in strength was accurate, but he isn’t holding his breath for a race between the AFC East rivals.

“I don’t think anybody wants to see those two race or line up against one another on the field. It might take a long time,’’ Caserio deadpanned. “In the end, the players are the ones that are out there on the field on Sunday, and they’re the ones that are going to be making the plays. Maybe on the side we can see how Rex and Bill would do, maybe at halftime. Maybe that can be a good halftime show or something like that.’’

Would Caserio face off against his Jets counterpart, general manager Mike Tannenbaum?

“Sure, if Mike’s up for it. I’d be more than happy to. Hopefully I don’t embarrass myself,’’ he said, chuckling.

Just don’t expect Patricia to challenge New York defensive coordinator Mike Pettine or outside linebackers coach Jeff Weeks — well, at least not in any sort of real athletic event.

Maybe a test of wills.

“The problem I’ve got right now is that I’m pretty much out of breath just walking up the stairs to practice, so I am just going to stick to making sure I don’t get any of those challenges right there,’’ Patricia said. “I would have a problem with that I think.

“I can probably stand outside the longest in shorts. I think I could take that one.’’

Ryan’s notable quotes weren’t limited to calling this game “personal’’ between he and Belichick — he also said, “Let’s face it: New York’s New York; everybody wants to beat the best’’ and took another swipe at Tom Brady, saying Peyton Manning would have watched the Jets’ playoff game rather than take in a Broadway play with his wife, as Brady and Bundchen did Saturday night.

Last week, Ryan claimed Brady “thinks’’ he prepares as much as Manning does, but Manning belongs in a class by himself when it comes to game preparation. Yesterday, Ryan didn’t back down from the comment, and then he threw in an odd reference to Brady taking a shot at him with his “antics’’ on the field.

In his weekly appearance on WEEI, Brady said he caught the second half of the Jets-Colts game on television, watching with two friends after he and his wife returned from the play, “Lombardi.’’

In his own understated way, however, Brady summed up all the bluster coming from New Jersey in a way that likely made his coach very proud.

“The whole team talking — that doesn’t mean anything. To me it’s just a lot more hype than it is substance,’’ Brady said. “We can sit here and make a bunch of predictions . . . We let our play do our talking. It was the same thing before the last game [with all of the hype]. We’re going to see who’s ready to play, and we’re not going to buy into that. We’re going to prepare hard like we always do.’’

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