Rex Ryan and John Harbaugh have been exchanging words this week.
A day after Rex Ryan admitted that he felt it was "B.S." that he didn't get the Ravens head coaching job last year, Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh took the politically correct path in the run-up to Monday night's second preseason game.
"I think it means a lot to be going against a Rex Ryan-coached team," Harbaugh said after the Ravens' Tuesday's morning practice in Westminster, Md. "We think the world of Rex, Mike [Pettine], Jimmy [Leonhard] and Bart [Scott]. You don't go through a season, with what we went through emotionally and the friendships [we built], without it meaning a ton. I know those guys feel that way."
There's no way around it. Rex doesn't come off well here. He's got to get over it. The Ravens didn't hire him as head coach. Complaining about it now makes him look pretty childish. The Ravens gave him his break. They gave him an NFL job. They employed him for over a decade. They gave him more responsibility last season, and that helped him land the Jets job. He wouldn't be where he is today without that team. I wish he wouldn't look back like this. If he wants to talk about the Dolphins or Pats, that's fine. Those are his real opponents now. Get the team fired up to play them. Don't focus on or bash your old employer. You just come off bitter.
Harbaugh also deftly sidestepped Ryan's not-so-subtle jab at the organization for giving former Ravens' DE Michael McCrary's No. 99 jersey to rookie LB Paul Kruger.
"I'm disappointed they gave his jersey to some rookie who hasn't proven sh--, excuse my language," Ryan said Monday.
Harbaugh's response (or non response, depending on your point of view): "I don't even know if I saw that. As far as the numbers go, that's done with a lot of things in mind. One number we have held back this year -- I guess this is a good time, since you brought it up -- we're going to hold back No. 57 this year. That's for O.J. Brigance. Everybody knows the situation with O.J. and this inspiration he's brought to our team. So, we will hold that number back this year. That's one we'll hold back."
Again, Rex isn't with the Ravens. I don't get why he has to involve himself in this. If it meant that much to him, he could have stayed in Baltimore and kept a rookie from getting number 99. He can make sure something similar doesn't happen in New York.
Who is Michael McCrary anyway? It's not like we're talking about Ray Lewis or Ed Reed here.
Harbaugh just comes off a lot better here. He's the anti Channing Crowder This isn't a fight Rex wants.