The Dolphins apparently are sensing a lack of respect from their AFC East brethren, because linebacker Channing Crowder went off the other day about the Jets' brashness, which he said "is amazing to me."
Rex Ryan had a response for Crowder at today's just-concluded news conference between the first two practices of the full-squad minicamp.
"I don't know this Channing Crowder, but all I know is he's all tatted up so I guess I need to be nervous about him," Ryan said before an audience that included his father, Buddy Ryan. "He's right about one thing, I'm a first-year head coach. But I've been around the game my entire life. I'm no different than I've ever been. It's just that more people are listening."
Ryan was responding to Crowder's comment in the Miami Herald that the Jets are "still talking junk, Rex Ryan saying they're the toughest team in the NFL. They got a quarterback, but I don't know how you add toughness with a quarterback [rookie Mark Sanchez]. If they want to be the OTA champions, they can have it. We whupped them last year.''
To which Rex replied:
"I think he's wrong because I think you do win in June. You win with your preparation and all that stuff. And if I was younger, I'd probably handle him myself."
But Ryan then replied that the trash talk is all in good fun and that the Jets aren't saying anything about any other team, only about themselves.
"He's a good player," Rex said. "It's good to ruffle some feathers. I've got no problem doing that. I'm confident in my football team, I'm confident in myself, I'm confident in the players, the coaches and this entire organization. That's why I say the things I say. I'll always be honest, I'll say what I feel and I'll make no apologies for any of those statements and things I say.
Ryan added that some lighthearted comments he made about the Patriots last week were also not about the Pats as much as the Jets.
"The thing with Bill Belichick, my comment about him," he said, "realistically, I'm not going to concede anything. Do I acknowledge that he's a heck of a coach? Absolutely. But I'm not intimidated by him or anything else in this business and my players aren't, either.
"Again, I know one thing. Our football team's going to be prepared and we're going to play our tails off and give everything we've got. That's one thing I can promise our fans. If people have trouble, live with it because it's going to happen."