PHOENIX -- Rex Ryan would rather be the one to give the New England Patriots a black eye.
Instead, the Buffalo Bills' new coach is bothered that the Patriots' deflated-ball scandal has been an issue heading into Super Bowl 49.
"I think it's unfortunate that this takes away from the biggest stage there is," Ryan said Thursday in the Super Bowl media center. "Here we're talking about something like that.
"It is a black eye to the league, and the league will handle it as they see fit. They're a great football team. They earned the right to be here."
While Ryan has landed his share of blows on the Patriots, he also has been thwarted by them for years while overseeing the Baltimore Ravens' defense and then as head coach of the New York Jets.
Ryan infamously announced he didn't take the Jets job so he could kiss Patriots coach Bill Belichick's three Super Bowl rings. When the Bills three weeks ago introduced Ryan as head coach, he declared the Patriots -- not the Jets -- are in his cross hairs.
But Ryan maintains a healthy respect for the Patriots and what they've accomplished.
"I don't think it does anything," Ryan said. "When you look at it, you're going to have a guy that arguably's going to end up being if not the best coach in the history of the game at least in that conversation. Same thing about their quarterback."
As for a Super Bowl prediction, Ryan said he simply wants a great game with a classic finish.
"I'm hoping," Ryan said, "it comes down to Brady gets the ball and has to take his team for a winning touchdown against the No. 1 defense in the league."