Rex Ryan punted this afternoon on an opportunity to go toe-to-toe with Patriots receiver Wes Welker, whose multiple foot references yesterday were taken as a jab at foot-fetish videos purportedly involving the Jets coach and his wife.
"I think with Wes Welker, this is a huge rivalry-type game," said Ryan, tiptoeing around the issue rather than risk putting his foot in his mouth. "Anything goes and I can take it. I'm not going to discuss it, but I can take it." Did he consider Welker's comments over the line? "I'm not getting into that," Ryan said. "Anything goes this week. That's the way it is."
Ryan did say that he would kick off in Sunday afternoon's playoff game at Gillette Stadium, whether or not New York wins the coin toss. "We're going to defer like we always do," he said. "That's who we are. We're not afraid to play defense. Regardless of when they get the ball, it's going to be a challenge."
Ryan declared that the game would be second only to Super Bowl III, when the Jets shocked the Colts, in franchise history. "Even more so than last year's Indianapolis game," he said. "I think this one's huge. You've got your rival, a team that's won three Super Bowls right there in your own division at their place coming off the huge embarrassing loss that we had in the Monday night game. I think this without question would be the second biggest game in the history of the franchise."