Rex Ryan rubs some people the wrong way.
He’s loud, proud, wears his emotions on his sleeve, and his players have followed suit.
If you hate Ryan and the Jets then he’s done his job.
Prior to his arrival the Jets played second fiddle in New York – the Giants’ little brother.
The Jets are headed to the playoffs for the second consecutive season and at 11-5, compiled the franchise’s most regular-season wins since 1998.
Ryan won’t let you forget about the Jets even if you wanted to.
From his profanity-laced tirades on HBO’s Hard Knocks series, to his media bouts with Tony Dungy, to his alleged foot-fetish videos … Ryan stays in the limelight.
This week Ryan has done plenty of talking. He says the Jets will win it all; that the Colts are more vulnerable this year; and that Saturday’s rematch at Lucas Oil Stadium is personal.
In true Colts’ fashion, nobody took the bait.
Head coach Jim Caldwell was asked if he had a reaction to Ryan’s comment about the Colts being more vulnerable.
“No sir,” he said. “Everybody is entitled to their opinion.”
Peyton Manning was asked about Ryan saying this game is personal.
“I really don’t have any reaction to it,” he responded.
Robert Mathis doesn’t see it as personal either.
“I see it as a playoff game,” he said.
It all sets up as an intriguing contrast of styles in many aspects.
The Jets are a hard-nosed team that wants to run right at you and stuff the run. The Colts lean on an undersized defense with
lightning-fast pass rushers and an up-tempo passing game.
Ryan is as brash and forthcoming as you’ll find, while the soft-spoken Caldwell can leave one combing through audio for an interesting quote.
Mark Sanchez is a laid-back California guy who looks like he just got off a surfboard. Manning is close to the vest, all business, and speaks with a southern drawl.
Braylon Edwards frequents the police blotter and never stops talking. Wayne quietly churns out 1,000-yard season after 1,000-yard season.
Last year the Jets landed the first punch in the AFC championship game, jumping out to a 17-6 lead and silencing the Indianapolis crowd. Manning and the Colts responded with 24 unanswered points to send the Jets home fuming.
In the NFL, a chance at revenge is often never granted. For the Jets, another shot at the Colts will arrive less than a year later.
“I think we’ll make enough plays to win this game,” Ryan said.
We’ll see if his team can back up all of his talk this time around.