New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan spoke with the media Friday prior to the big game against the New England Patriots. In contrast to the team's usually bombastic style, the Jets have kept the bulletin-board material to a minimum leading into the critical AFC East clash, something Ryan credits to the fact that everyone inside the locker room already knows how important the game is.
"We're relaxed, focused, loose, but we know what's at stake," Ryan said. "We know how big this game is and we're excited about it. We're ready for it, and we know they're going to be ready for it. So, it ought to be a great game. It's almost like Ali-Frazier, it's one of those type of things. We're excited that it's in our building. We're not banking on that being the difference, but it might very well be the difference."
As for his gameplan, Ryan said he will look to continue a recent trend of opposing teams disrupting Patriots quarterback Tom Brady by penetrating the line to generate pressure on the quarterback. Though Ryan said he didn't take credit for other teams adopting this strategy from the Jets, he did say getting pressure on Brady was necessary if a team is going to beat the Patriots.
"We don't take credit for someone else's success, that's for sure," Ryan said. "If we steal something from somebody, we'll make sure that we give them credit. That's probably the difference (joking). Yes, you want to hit Brady, there is no question. You want to (hit him) to where he is not feeling comfortable. That, you have to do. If you can't get pressure on Brady, then you're going to get destroyed, so we have to find ways of getting there whether it's through a four-man rush, like the Giants used a bunch, whether it's something creative or whatever, I don't know, but you have to get pressure on Brady."
On offense, Ryan said the Jets will not be altering their gameplan to exploit what some consider to be a shaky New England secondary.
"It's funny, because the season is only half over, so sometimes those stats will even out as the year goes on, but the fact they've had, what, three out of their eight (defensive backs) never even went to training camp," Ryan said. "That's probably tough sledding if you've got to play those guys. Eventually, though, once they play, eventually they'll catch up to the system and all that. But, we're just going to play our game and mix run and pass and see what happens."