The NFL's first full preseason week has yet to conclude (there are two games tonight), but already reporters shifted into Week 2 mode at head coach Rex Ryan's news conference today. And Rex, even knowing his reunion with the Ravens at Baltimore won't come until a week from tonight, was up to the task.
The subject was broached initially by talk about the Jets' injured players such as DT Kris Jenkins, who returned to limited practice today for the first time since injuring his calf on the second day of camp.
"Yeah, he looked good, but we're not going to rush him into a team drill or anything like that," Ryan said. "But sometimes it's tempting. We're playing the Ravens, of course, and I feel extra about this game, I'm not going to deny that. And I guarantee you they do, too — I was there for 10 years. But I'm not going to do something stupid selfishly to jeopardize our football team ... but it's tempting."
He was soon asked about the emotions of this return to Crabtown, and the way he responded showed where his priorities lie.
"Let's play in the playoffs. That would be the best. That would be a great scenario. It would mean we're both there," he said. "I cared dearly for that organization but not half as much as I care for this one. This is my team right now.
"I think it's going to be a lot of fun," Ryan continued. "I've got a lot of respect for a lot of guys over there. Just like anything else, you want to compete against your friends, compete against those players you've been with for 10 years. I want to compete against John Harbaugh, who I've known forever, and Cam Cameron, who I respect a ton.
"But I respect my brother and I still want to kick his butt. Same thing."