- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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Jets coach Rex Ryan said he wants Dolphins running back Reggie Bush to apologize for his "what-goes-around-comes-around" comment from Week 3. Bush, speaking two days after the Jets' Week 3 win in Miami, intimated that cornerback Darrelle Revis deserved his season-ending knee injury.
As for Ryan's players, well, they just want Bush, period.
"We want to knock him out, but we're out to do it legally," linebacker Aaron Maybin said.
Bush couldn't finish the first meeting because of a second-quarter knee injury. Safety LaRon Landry, who made the initial hit on the play, said Bush will be haunted by it when the teams meet again Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
"Every time he sees me, he will remember that hit," Landry said. "If I'm in the box or I'm going downhill, he'll remember that hit."
Landry has been called for three personal-foul penalties this season, but he said he's not about to change his physical style of play.
"If I get penalized, I'm not going to stop head-hunting," he said. "I'm not going to stop the way I play."
Considering the bad blood, it figures to be an intense rematch between these AFC East rivals.
The war of words began during the run-up to the first game, when Ryan said the Jets needed to pour "hot sauce" on Bush. The Dolphins' leading rusher took umbrage, suggesting the Jets were out to deliberately hurt him. Bush intimated that Revis' season-ending knee injury, which also occurred in that game, was some sort of karmic retribution.
Afterward, Ryan said Bush misinterpreted his remarks, and now he wants Bush to come clean. On Wednesday, Ryan was asked if he's worried about payback.
"I'm not worried about that, shoot," Ryan said. "I apologized for my comments, and I expect him to do the same."
Ryan, however, had a slightly different take when he talked to Miami reporters on a conference call.
"For him, I don't want an apology, and, obviously, I hope he's taken mine and understands the sincerity," he said.
Bush said Wednesday that he didn't believe Ryan's apology was sincere.
"I don't believe that, I don't believe that at all," Bush said. "But it is what it is. Like I said, the great thing about divisional games is you get to play them twice."
Another layer to the story was a postgame comment from linebacker Calvin Pace, who said of Bush, "We had to put him out."
The next day, Pace apologized, saying there was no intent to hurt Bush.
Bush got off to a great start in the game, rushing for 61 yards on 10 carries. On the 10th carry, he was drilled by Landry, but that didn't cause the injury. Bush got caught under a pile, with nose tackle Sione Po'uha landing on his knee. Landry emerged from the pile, clapping his hands, as if he was celebrating.
It turned out to be only a bruise, but Bush was angry. Two days later, he went on a South Florida radio station and suggested Revis' injury -- noncontact -- was deserved.
"They talked all week about putting hot sauce and this and that, and they ended up losing their best player," Bush said.
The Jets (3-4) haven't backed down. Maybin said Bush's comment about Revis was "a very unprofessional thing to say."
Basically, Maybin reiterated what Pace said after the Week 3 game.
"We feel like we can kick guys' butts legally, in between the hashmarks," Maybin said. "That's what we need to do against Reggie."
Landry believes the Jets got into Bush's head.
"When guys yap back and forth, obviously you've done a great job, no matter if it's a bonehead play or whatever," he said. "You got to him in some type of way because he had to speak on it. We'll see on Sunday. I'm grateful for another opportunity to play this guy. He will remember that hit."
Bush said he's not worried about the Jets seeking revenge.
"Not at all," he said. "Retaliation? They're the ones who started it. If there was ever any retaliation it would come from us. But you know what? With this team, and the caliber of guys and character of guys that we have, we play with respect for the game.
"It's football. I didn't go and complain or whine about being a target of the Jets. I expect that every game. So I wouldn't expect it to be any different this game."
Clearly, Bush's earlier comments irked Ryan, who wants the running back to apologize -- particularly to Revis.
"Well, I do," Ryan told reporters in New York. "I never said we were trying to injure Reggie Bush, that's not even close. He's going to get our attention. I'm sorry, but he's a player that's going to warrant a lot of attention, and that's what I meant by my comments. If it was taken differently, I apologized for that. But, trust me, we know when he's in the game."
Bush didn't miss any time because of his knee injury, but his production has declined. He has rushed for only 132 yards in the past three games, averaging only 2.8 per carry.
Asked if Bush resembles the same dangerous runner his team faced last month, Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson said, "The stats show that he's down, so I guess he's not the same."
ESPN.com's James Walker contributed to this report.
13hEric D. Williams