- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- I hope Rex Ryan has unlimited minutes on his cell-phone calling plan, because he and his brother have been spending a lot of time yapping about X's and O's.
They've been at it again this week. The New York Jets are preparing for the Carolina Panthers, who lost last week to the New Orleans Saints, who employ Rob Ryan as their defensive coordinator. So, naturally, they've been talking, with Rob offering insights on the Panthers offense. The Jets haven't played the Panthers since 2009, so any knowledge is good knowledge.
Ryan said he spoke to his brother Sunday night after the Saints' 31-13 win, and again Monday. There was no point in denying it because, "They’re not believing that, and you’re not believing that, so the truth is, absolutely, I talked to him," Rex said Wednesday. "Anything that you can pick up, you’re going to try to see how it would fit what you do. Now, we’re not going to change our scheme or something like that, but we may look at some things, maybe some tips."
The Ryan brothers have shared intel twice before -- and it worked for the recipient. We will call it the "Buddy" system, named after their father.
In Week 1, the Jets beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a point. The brothers talked. The following week, Rob's Saints beat them by two points.
In Week 6, the Saints lost to the New England Patriots by three. The brother talked. The following week, Rex's Jets beat them by three.
If the Jets upset the Panthers, Rex should upgrade Rob's Christmas gift.
There has been an unusual amount of overlap because the Jets have faced the NFC South. In fact, they have six common opponents. The Jets are 4-3 against them, the Saints 5-1.
The Panthers get to face a Ryan for three straight weeks because the Saints-Panthers rematch is next week in Carolina. That probably will mean more brotherly chit chat.
ICYMI: Quarterback Geno Smith, looking back on the three-game losing streak that ended last week, said he was playing like a robot. The Jets hope his performance against the Oakland Raiders was a transformer. ... The ever-confident Sheldon Richardson said he'd be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft if they did a re-do. ... Muhammad Wilkerson isn't happy that the Jets have dropped out of the No. 1 ranking in run defense, but he's predicting a quick return to the top spot. Hear that, Carolina? ... Wide receiver Stephen Hill is battling knee swelling, and his immediate future is hazy.