Rex Ryan: Bush misunderstood me

Updated: September 26, 2012, 7:14 PM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Reggie Bush and Rex Ryan apparently differ on the meaning of "hot sauce."

The New York Jets' coach said Wednesday he meant it as a compliment last week when he told reporters his defense needed to pour hot sauce on the Miami Dolphins' leading rusher.

Bush didn't take it that way, suggesting to a South Florida radio station Monday that Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis deserved to get hurt because of Ryan's pregame comments.

Ryan, responding to Bush's "what-goes-around-comes-around" remark, said the hot sauce reference was meant as, "You have to pour a ton of attention on him."

"He definitely misinterpreted my comment," Ryan said, quickly adding, "Next time we play them (Oct. 28), he's going to get attention from us because he's a great football player. It's almost a compliment that's taken a different way."

Bush injured his left knee on a second-quarter carry after ripping through the Jets for 61 yards on 10 rushes. He didn't return to the game.

"I think (Bush) took it out of context," Jets linebacker Calvin Pace said. "It wasn't about hurting him. We didn't want to do anything malicious. You want to get hits on a running back. It's like boxing. You want body shots and, hopefully, it wears on him to the point where you don't see him as much."

What occurred after Bush's injury fueled speculation that the Jets deliberately tried to hurt him.

Safety LaRon Landry emerged from the pile-up clapping his hands, even as Bush was writhing in pain on the ground. Pace walked past Bush and nonchalantly motioned to the Miami sideline, telling the Dolphins to send in the trainer.

After the game, Pace told reporters: "We had to put him out," sparking a mini-controversy. On Monday, Pace tried to clarify his remarks, saying there was "no bounty" on Bush and no attempt to hurt him.

As it turned out, the Jets lost their best player, Revis, in the third quarter, to a season-ending knee injury that occurred on a non-contact play. In his radio interview, Bush showed no sympathy.

"It's like the old saying, 'What goes around comes around,'" he said. "They talked about all week about putting hot sauce and this and that, and they ended up losing their best player for the rest of the season. So, it's sad that it happened because of that, but I'm going to be back."

Ryan defended his team's motivation. He said there was no intent to injure, but he said his players always want to be as physical as possible.

"I respect the game and I respect the players in the league," he said. "The men who play this game are special people. I don't ever want to see anybody leave the field due to an injury. But I want to be physical.

"We want to hit guys, there's no question about that. We want him to go back to the huddle (and say), 'Do I really want to go back and stick it in there hard, because I'm going to get hit?' We want to be as physical as we can be, but I'm never going to injure players."

Bush caught a break because he suffered only a bruise. The Jets weren't so lucky; Revis is scheduled for reconstructive surgery.

"It's not just the New York Jets losing a great football player," Ryan said. "It's the NFL losing a great football player."

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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