Rex Ryan is all kinds of fired up to start this season.
His New York Jets hope to build on an 8-8 campaign in which they won their final two games, giving them momentum entering the offseason. They made some key roster moves, too, and expectations are high.
However, if the Jets are to achieve success, they’ll have to deal with a loaded New England Patriots team, something Ryan knows very well.
“When you look at New England, New England’s won this division 10 out of the last 11 years, and quite honestly, (Tom) Brady wasn’t the quarterback the year they never won it,” Ryan told the New York Post on Thursday. “So we know who the team to beat is, and no offense to Miami or Buffalo, but the team to beat is New England. We always try to line up to beat the best, and we know certainly in our division, historically over the last 10 years, that’s been New England.”
This isn’t the first time Ryan has talked about the Patriots this preseason, either.
“Somebody asked me if we focus on New England. Bull—,” Ryan said less than a week ago. “We’re focused on us and how we are 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.”
Ryan also told the Post that the Jets are “a zillion miles ahead” of where they were last year.
“Hey — my thing is this: We don’t back down to anybody, we don’t concede anything, and we expect to win,” he said.
That’s been Ryan’s expectation for during his entire Jets tenure. They’ve occasionally followed through during the regular season but with little postseason success. Whether this team can rise to new heights is yet to be seen, but Ryan’s right about one thing: The AFC East still runs through Foxboro until the Jets can prove otherwise.