FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rex Ryan already said he’s sorry.
And he thinks it’s about time Reggie Bush did, too.
The New York Jets’ coach is still bothered by the Miami Dolphins running back’s comments a few weeks ago that Darrelle Revis’ season-ending knee injury was a case of “what goes around comes around.”
Ryan drew the ire of the Dolphins’ star when the coach said the Jets were going to put “hot sauce” — saying he meant lots of attention, not intent to injure — on Bush before New York’s 23-20 overtime win last month. Bush hurt his left knee in the game on a hit by LaRon Landry, and later implied it was karma that Revis also hurt his knee and was lost for the season.
Bush told reporters in Miami that he wasn’t concerned that the Jets might try to get him back Sunday when the teams meet at MetLife Stadium.
“Retaliation? They’re the ones who started this,” Bush said. “If there was ever any retaliation, it would come from us. But this team and the caliber of guys and the character we have are guys who play with respect for the game and play hard. It’s football. I didn’t go and complain or whine about being a target of the Jets. I expect that every game. I don’t expect for it to be any different this game. I expect it to be a tough game, probably some trash talking going on. It’s going to be a physical, tough game.
“It’s a divisional opponent. That’s the great thing about playing divisional opponents. You get to play them twice. It’ll be fun this time around.”
Landry was told of Bush’s comments, and said he didn’t want to add to a war of words — but then he added fuel to the fire.
“When guys yap back and forth, obviously you’ve done a great job,” Landry said. “No matter if it was a bonehead play or whatever, I mean, you got to them in some type of way that they had to speak on it. I don’t really get into all that and the Twitter and everything. We’ll see on Sunday.
“I’m grateful for another opportunity to play this guy, and he will remember that hit. Every time he sees me, he will remember that hit. If I’m in the box or I’m coming downhill, whatever, he will remember that hit. I don’t worry about what those guys say.”
Landry, known for his physical and aggressive style of tackling, said it’s clear when a team has gotten into an opposing player’s head. And he thinks Bush will be the perfect example of that.
“Just watch the way he runs,” Landry said. “We’ll see when he comes out here this Sunday. I don’t want to say too much and I’m not going to overtalk it and make a story.”
Ryan said after the teams last played on Sept. 23 that his “hot sauce” comment was misinterpreted, and he never coaches to hurt another player. Linebacker Calvin Pace raised some eyebrows, though, saying that the Jets planned to “put him on out,” but later apologized and insisted there was no “bounty” on Bush or anything malicious meant by his comment.
Bush, whose injury wasn’t serious, was angry, though, saying during a radio interview: “They talked 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 said he wasn’t worried about Miami retaliating, either, and again reiterated that his comments were taken out of context.
“I never said we were trying to injure Reggie Bush, that’s not even close,” Ryan said. “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.”
Ryan added that he respects Bush’s abilities and “that’s bad for football” when any player of his caliber is injured for any period of time.
“This game is great because of the players and talent, and that’s what I mean,” Ryan said. “If Reggie thinks about it, you want Darrelle playing in this league.”
Despite what Ryan said, Bush has his doubts as to the sincerity of the coach’s remarks when he says he doesn’t want the running back injured.
“I don’t believe that at all,” he said.
Ryan added that he doesn’t necessarily expect Bush to apologize to him, but perhaps he should say sorry to Revis at some point.
“I’m sure he kind of got caught up in the moment,” Ryan said. “He was injured. I mean, obviously, no one likes to get hurt. And that certainly wasn’t my intention and I hope he understands. But he doesn’t have to ever say anything to me, or even reach out to Revis.
“But I would expect him to, for the simple fact that that’s his peer. That’s one of the elite players in this league.”
Landry has been hit with a few personal foul penalties and has worked to be smarter with his approach. He has also been accused at times of perhaps hitting too low, and was asked if he has ever personally heard from running backs about that.
“I don’t care,” he said. “It doesn’t matter. I’m trying to win a ballgame.”
And he certainly isn’t going to change his approach.
“If I get penalized, I’m not going to stop head hunting,” Landry said. “I’m not going to stop the way I play. That’s just my mentality, it’s just my personality. That’s my makeup.”
Bush carried the ball 10 times for 61 yards in his first meeting against Gang Green in Week 3.
NOTES: Ryan called Sunday’s game “critical” and “huge,” but Landry took it a step further: “This game is a must-win,” the safety said. “We can sweep those guys and also go into the bye 4-4. That’s what we’re striving to do and that’s what we will do.” … RB-KR Joe McKnight is still dealing with a sprained left ankle that had him questionable up until shortly before kickoff against Indianapolis. He ended up playing, and insists he’ll be good to go against Miami despite not practicing Wednesday. “If (Mike) Westhoff can beat his leg cancer, I can play through a little ankle sprain,” he said, referring to the Jets’ special teams coach. Westhoff had a malignant tumor found in his left leg in 1988, and has needed several operations on it since.
Will the Jets be able to keep Reggie Bush at bay on Sunday? Sound off with your comments in the section below…
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