New York Jets coach Rex Ryan didn't seem like the retiring type.
In what's turning into a relentless back-and-forth brawl that would make Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns grimace, the verbal punches kept coming Wednesday.
Ryan didn't flinch. He fired back again.
"First off, Channing Crowder had a rebuttal," Ryan told reporters Wednesday in Florham Park, N.J. He was unable to keep a straight face. "I love it. The only thing I can say is -- and let's see if he can top this one -- I've walked over tougher guys going to a fight than Channing Crowder."
Ryan then laughed and seemed to brace for another Crowder counterpunch.
"The dude's going to kill me," Ryan said.
Ryan's players seem to be having fun with the biting discourse.
"Whatever coach wants to say, he can say anything and I'm going to ride with him," Jets linebacker Bart Scott said. "That's my man. I don't care what he says and likewise.
"If a player comes in and makes a statement, he's making a statement and expects his teammates to have his back because, realistically, you're a family, right or wrong. ... So it's up to us to make sure we back him up to make it right."
Said quarterback Kellen Clemens: "I like the swagger Coach Ryan has brought to the team and to the organization. They could call us cocky or arrogant or whatever. Who cares? Let's just go out there and win and that speaks the loudest."