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Monday, January 10, 2011
Ryan challenges Belichick, Brady's 'antics'

By Tim Graham

Rex Ryan is ready to take all the heat this week.

The brash New York Jets head coach declared Sunday's rubber match against the New England Patriots will be decided by him versus Bill Belichick and took another shot or two at Tom Brady, statements almost certainly designed to take pressure off Jets players this week.

Bill Belichick and Rex Ryan
Rex Ryan, right, said Sunday's matchup against the Patriots was "about Rex Ryan versus Bill Belichick."
The Jets need to find a way to recover from a 45-3 loss to the Patriots five weeks ago in Gillette Stadium.

"I was outcoached in that game," Ryan said at Monday's news conference. "I said it then, I'm saying it now. Belichick, I recognize the fact this is a Hall of Fame coach. He'll go down in history as maybe the greatest football coach in the history of this game -- or going to be close to it.

"He was at that level that week and I was not. For whatever reason, I never had my team prepared the way it should've been prepared. That falls right down on me.

"I recognize this week that it's about Rex Ryan versus Bill Belichick. It's about him against myself. That's what it's going to come down to."

Ryan said he'll never be the coach Belichick is, yet all he needs to do is be better than Belichick on Sunday.

"I recognize my level has to come up," Ryan said. "He's going to get my best shot. He's going to get everything I have on Sunday. If he slips at all, we're going to beat him."

Brady has been on Ryan's mind, too.

Ryan claimed he didn't mean to take a shot at Brady last week. Ryan, in talking about how much he respected Peyton Manning, suggested Brady didn't measure up because he has Belichick "dialing up plays," while Manning runs the Indianapolis Colts' offense.

But Ryan expressed his disdain for Brady's "antics on the field," which include pointing at the opponents' sideline after a touchdown.

"That's just Brady being Brady," Ryan said. "I don't like seeing that. No Jets fan likes to see that. He can't wait to do it. He's not going to say anything publicly, but he does it. It's what it is. It's my job to keep him out of the end zone."

On Brady's weekly visit with Boston radio station WEEI, he wouldn't get baited into a public feud with Ryan.

"We're all at the point this year where we're motivated by much more than what someone may say about us," Brady said. "We're motivated by the fact that we have a great opportunity to be playing a division rival at home in the most important game of the year. That's plenty of motivation for us.

"We're going to let our play do the talking as we always do. There's going to be a lot of hype and buildup and people saying things. The reality is none of it matters. What matters is that whistle is going to blow at 4:30 on Sunday night, and the team that executes the best and is the most prepared is the team that's going to win."