Jets coach Rex Ryan has been making bold predictions and brash statements about his team since the cameras began rolling for "Hard Knocks" during training camp.
And with New York having defeated Peyton Manning and the Colts Saturday night to advance to a matchup with the Patriots in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, he isn't about to worry about putting his foot in his mouth now -- even if it means dissing Tom Brady. Again.
When asked during his press conference this morning at the Jets' facility about what he thought of the Patriots quarterback attending the Broadway play "Lombardi" while the Jets were in the midst of their 17-16 victory over the Colts, Ryan didn't disappoint in his response:
"Peyton Manning would have been watching our game."
Today's comment wasn't exactly a vicious cheap shot, but it is somewhat curious considering that Brady and the Patriots clobbered the Jets, 45-3, in the teams' last meeting on Dec. 6. Not to mention that taking jabs at Brady while ostensibly praising Manning is becoming something of a habit for Ryan. Last week, he said Brady only "thinks" he studies as much as Manning, instead steering the credit for the Patriots' success toward coach Bill Belichick.
"There's nobody like this guy in the league," Ryan said last week about Manning. "Nobody studies like him and all that. I know Brady thinks he does and all that stuff, but I think there's a little more help from Belichick with Brady than there is with Peyton Manning. I mean, Tom Moore has done a great job with him forever, [Jim] Caldwell and Tony Dungy, but it's Peyton Manning. That's who it is."
During his weekly appearance on WEEI's "Dennis and Callahan Show" this morning, Brady brushed off Ryan's previous comment as inconsequential, though it's fair to presume he won't forget it given his legendary competitiveness.
"I’ve heard…yeah, that was…everyone is entitled to their opinion," Brady said. "Maybe he’s right. He’s a good coach, so I’ll just keep getting ready like we’ve done all year and get ready for Sunday night. It's an exciting week for us, I think everyone is in [preparation] mode, it will be a tough game. I'm excited to play the Jets again."
According to Ryan, the feeling is mutual.
"I told Belichick after the [45-3 loss], 'We'll see you in Round 3,' " he said during today's press conference. "He just looked at me."