Earlier Thursday, coach Rex Ryan shook his head when asked about the perception that he's "obsessed" with the New England Patriots.
He said the reason it might seem like he's "obsessed" is that New England has what he wants: championships.
"They’ve won some rings or whatever," Ryan said. "I ain’t kissing them, but I respect them. I admire the fact that they’ve been that successful through the years. But that’s what I’m chasing. I want to win, man. I mean that’s as simple as that."
Speaking with Boston-area reporters later in the day, Ryan ramped it up a notch. True, he has brought up the Patriots multiple times before this season. When asked last week if he had the New York Jets circled on his calendar, Ryan said it's the Patriots he always circles. He then got into quarterback Tom Brady, saying "When you get older, you’re supposed to get worse. This dude's getting better. ... I’m waiting for the wheels to fall off."
Ryan says it's himself who's obsessed with the Patriots, rather the Boston media. He had quite an exchange with the Boston reporters on his conference call. Here it is via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
Q: You’ve lost eight of nine to the Patriots. Is that something that keeps you up at night considering how much time you spend talking about them?
Ryan: “You know what? The only reason I talk about them is they’re the No. 1 team in our division. That’s where we want to be. You guys always say that I’m obsessed with them and all that. You guys are obsessed with them, not me. You’re the ones who talk about them every single day. I’ll tell you this, we prepare for them the same way we prepare for every team that we face. But do we want to beat them? Absolutely. Do I want to beat them more than any team? Yeah, because they’re the standard. They’ve won. They’re the ones who win the division. To me, that’s why. But do I obsess with them and all that? You guys write that I’ve lost seven of eight, so why are you even talking to me. I obviously have no clue how to attack them or defend them, so you guys should talk to somebody else who has a better record than I do against them.”
Howe wrote that Ryan's mood then changed, eventually leading to this answer:
Q: Why are you mad at us?
Ryan: “I don’t know. I just like the way you guys spin everything. You put everything I say, you take whatever it is, hey, you guys put it out there the way you want to, and I understand it. You guys have covered this matchup for years and years. We’ve got no business being on the same field. That’s what you’ve said. We lost seven of eight. I’ve lost seven of eight against them. So don’t talk to me. I’m sitting back here. I’ll answer the question, whatever, but I don’t know why you even bother.”