Forget the 90 players on the field, Rex Ryan says Sunday's divisional playoff showdown between the New York Jets and New England Patriots will be decided by he and Bill Belichick. "It's personal," he says.
Why does Rex feel the need to make everything personal? Did he learn nothing from The Godfather I and II? The Jets coach said last week's game against Peyton Manning(notes) was between the two of them and now he's insisting the same thing this week against Belichick. First a quarterback, now a coach. If he continues moving up the ladder, I suppose a championship game matchup with the Steelers would be a battle between he and Dan Rooney.
Belichick downplayed Ryan's comments, joking (as much as the notoriously humorless Belichick can) that Rex may have him beat in size, but he's got him in quickness. Expect the Pats coach to continue deflecting Ryan's barbs. It's as much a part of his nature to stay quiet as it is Ryan's to speak up.
Later in the press conference, Rex took a little shot at Tom Brady(notes) as well. The Pats quarterback admitted he didn't watch all of the Jets-Colts game on Saturday night, saying he gets too caught up in it and begins rooting for a team. It's a logical reason not to watch; why set yourself up to be disappointed by an outcome of which you have no control? But Ryan joked that Peyton Manning would have watched the game, which I guess is a dig that Manning is more of a student of the game? I'm not sure. Whatever the intended barb was, it couldn't have bothered Brady too much. He has three rings and is going for his fourth. Peyton, out of the playoffs, has one.