Gang Green kicks off training camp in Cortland, N.Y. this week and they could not be more fired up about the 2014 season. The one person who has shown the most enthusiasm is head coach Rex Ryan. Boasting that this team will exceed expectations again, finishing better than .500, and that other teams need to watch out for the Jets this season.
One team in particular that Ryan called out was their AFC East rivals, the New England Patriots. This rivalry is one of the most heated in all of the major four sports in the United States. Comparing it to the Yankees and Red Sox or the Lakers and the Celtics, there is no holding back when it comes to showing the level of hatred for each other.
“Somebody asked me if we focus on New England. Bullsh–. We’re focused on us,” Ryan said when discussing his feelings for his rival. “We’re focused on us and how are we going to be better. I have to be honest, I don’t worry about them. They need to worry about us. I think that’s really where we’re at now.”
This offseason has been riddled with rumors about the Patriots acquiring Ryan’s playbook from University of Alabama skipper Nick Saban. Saban and Bill Belichick, the Patriots head coach, both denied the rumors though. However, former Jets defensive coordinator, and now Browns head coach, Mike Pettine believes that Belichick did obtain the playbook and used it to his advantage in previous seasons.
This is not the first time that the Patriots have been involved in something of this nature. A few years ago, New England was caught “spying” and recording other team’s practices to expose their formations and adjustments to defenses. The NFL found the Pats guilty and docked draft picks and levied heavy fines as the act was coined “Spygate.”
The Green and White and the team up in Massachusetts haven't exactly been best friends and Ryan cannot wait to get this season underway.
“I think I’m just starting,” Ryan said. “That’s how I feel. One thing I know I have is an opportunity. It’s right there in front of me. I can’t wait for it. I cannot wait to get this thing kicked off this year. I cannot wait.”
No one is more excited about the 2014 season than Ryan is, and rightfully so. He gets to square off with New England twice and he believes the Jets have a chance to knock the Pats off the top of the AFC East. Let’s hope Ryan’s enthusiasm and his confidence turn into W’s in 2014 or he may be looking for a new job next season.