Rex Ryan made headlines earlier this offseason by saying he wasn't going to "kiss Bill Belichick's rings." He asserted those comments again today.
"When I said that about Belichick ("I'm not here to kiss his rings."), I'm just letting him know I'm not intimidated by him," said Ryan at his noon press conference. "He has the same position as I have. We're both head coaches in this league. He just happens to have a helluva lot of Super Bowl rings and I don't have a win. I understand that.
"But again, we're not going to tiptoe our way through this thing. You don't line up and beat a Bill Belichick-coached team by tiptoeing in there. We're just going to be ourselves. I'm going to be myself. That's just the way it is.
"How much motivation are they going to get by putting a quote from me on the wall saying that I believe in my football team. That I'm not going to be intimidated by a coach or anyone else. If that's where you're going to draw motivation from, hell, we'll probably kick your (butt). I mean if that's the case."
This is great for headlines, but I don't think it really will make much difference. I agree with the last paragraph. Do you really think the Pats need extra motivation? These guys were less than a minute from a perfect season two years ago. They're going to be motivated and ready to play the Jets no matter what. Is this going to make them and their fans any more determined to win against Ryan than they were against Eric Mangini, a coach they detested?
What's wrong with Rex saying he's not afraid of the Pats? Should he be? Rex gave Belichick credit in that quote, but he's expecting to win. Definitely a different approach from Mangini. Definitely his father's son. Definitely going to get way more press than it deserves. Games are decided on the field, not in press conferences.