There was a whole lot of trash talk in advance of the Jets' matchup against the Patriots last week, with Antonio Cromartie calling Tom Brady a name we shouldn't repeat here, Ryan proclaiming his matchup against Bill Belichick was "personal," and the Pats' Wes Welker repeatedly referring to foot-fetish videos that (allegedly? Do I have to say "allegedly"?) involved Ryan and his wife.
This week, though, Ryan and the Jets don't sound like they'll have as much to say.
On Monday, Ryan heaped praise upon his next counterpart, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who he said was "one of my favorite coaches."
He said he had no script of trash talk he expects to follow.
"That game was different, every game is different," Ryan said. "I don't have a plan on what to say ... I just say it the way it is. If you can't get motivated to win an AFC championship game, I don't know what else you need."
Pressed on why there might be less trash talk against the Steelers, Ryan -- the former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator -- joked he could mix it up with his former rivals.
"Give me somebody you want to call out ... I guess Hines Ward, Casey Hampton," he said.
The Steelers are coming off a somewhat trash-talk-filled week themselves, against their own divisional rivals. Terrell Suggs wore a shirt with a cartoon Raven flipping the bird at Pittsburgh, and coach John Harbaugh proclaimed that he was "glad" the Ravens broke Ben Roethlisberger's nose. There was an undercurrent of admiration that went along with all that trash talk, though - Suggs said the Ravens/Steelers matchup was, essentially, the Super Bowl, and Harbaugh said he respected that Roethlisberger played through the broken nose.
So while the Ravens/Steelers matchup had plenty of trash talk, it really wasn't on the same level as, say, the stunt Welker pulled before the Jets/Patriots game. It sounds like we'll be hearing a lot less trash talk of either category this week, though. Last week's AFC playoff matchups included two games between divisional rivals, and a lot of the hate - or fake hate? - stemmed from that.