At this time last week, the New York Jets had long since started their barking about their upcoming Divisional Round tilt with the rival New England Patriots. Rex Ryan got things started by saying that he planned to outcoach Bill Belichick for at least one day; Antonio Cromartie then took it to the next level with his derogatory comments about Tom Brady.
Regardless of whether you think the Jets are ‘classless’ or something similarly negative, you can’t call them one-trick ponies. The Jets have changed gears since stunning the Patriots on Sunday afternoon, and are now in a more quiet and focused mode as they prepare for the six-time Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ryan has stated that Mike Tomlin is one of his ‘favorites’, and Cromartie had nothing but glowing remarks about Ben Roethlisberger, saying, “I love Ben, man. Ben’s a competitor, man.’’
You can count on Ryan devising a fresh gameplan for Big Ben and the Steelers. He’s certainly familiar with Roethlisberger from his long tenure in Baltimore. But Ryan’s players know that even the best gameplan doesn’t always work like it does with less mobile and strong quarterbacks.
“You can’t prepare for what he naturally does,” defensive lineman Trevor Pryce said. How do you prepare to tackle a guy as big as a polar bear? How do you prepare for a guy who can flick a ball 50 yards at the drop of a dime? How do you prepare for a guy that can run like he does? How do you prepare for a guy that wants to win like he wants to win?
“I don’t think anything really works with that guy, because he makes it up as he goes along. He’s as big as all of us and he’s impossible to tackle. He will not go down. If you go in there and do the same thing, he’ll kill you.”
Once the teams line up on Sunday afternoon, you can count on there being plenty of talking, pushing, shoving and bravado on full display. But for now, the Jets have put the incendiary talking on hold while they prepare for the Steelers.