New York Jets coach Rex Ryan is pretty good at getting people to laugh, but his real talent is probably his ability to stir his players to an emotional fervor.
We figure that’s exactly what Ryan was doing when he told the Newark Star-Ledger that the New England Patriots were dismissing his team when they called the Jets a great team.
“I know they say we are a great team, and I see the sarcasm,” Ryan said, according to the Star-Ledger. “Well, they are going to find out if we are a great team or not, I can tell you that much.”
Where did Ryan sense the sarcasm? “I just sense it,” he said, “because they all have the same comment. That, ‘Well, we’ll just say this and this.’ We’re coming. We’ll show up and see what happens.”
Actually, there hasn’t been a whole lot of acknowledging of the Jets’ greatness. Tom Brady, the Patriots quarterback, said the other day, “It has been a fun rivalry, they're a great team and have been playing great football this season.”
That doesn’t sound sarcastic, does it? But it doesn’t really matter to Ryan. If he can convince his players that the Pats don’t consider them a worthy opponent, he can bring his players to a fever pitch at game time Monday night.
And you know what? It’s probably working.
“I heard a few guys talking how great we were, and they never give us credit, so that’s a bunch of bull,” fullback Tony Richardson said. “It is what it is. Playing a little Jedi mind tricks, that’s fine. You can talk all that stuff, but bottom line, you’ve still got to play the game.”