FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Jets coach Rex Ryan seemed most interested in the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens not opening the season at home as the NFL released the schedule.
Oh, Ryan was “happy” to be kicking off the season with a home game, against Tampa Bay on Sept. 8. And he spoke of the challenge of going to New England four days later for a Thursday prime-time matchup with the archrival Patriots.
Still, his choicest words came when asked about Baltimore, where he was an assistant coach for 10 years and won the 2000 title, having to open at Denver because of a conflict with the Orioles’ home game Sept. 5.
“Well, who really cares? You’ve got 81 at home, maybe you could have done the right thing and given one up and then played 82 on the road and then 80 at home,” Ryan said. “I really don’t think people are going to care about that game.”
The now-traditional first game of the schedule normally is at the team owning the Lombardi Trophy.
“I think that the world champs can open up at home and that’s where I think they should open, at home,” Ryan said. “I think it is common courtesy. I don’t know what gets involved in that. I am not in charge of it, but if I would have been, the Ravens would be opening at home.
“If baseball had only 16 games, I might understand it. But just as common courtesy maybe (the Orioles) say, ‘I’ll play this one on the road.’ Just from a fan perspective of sports.”
While Ryan forecasts “a phenomenal game” between the Ravens and Broncos in 4 1-2 months, he’s still upset it won’t be at the Inner Harbor.
“It is my love of this game, of the National Football League,” he said. “And I think the defending champion always should open at home, they have that right.
“It is disappointing … but the fan of anywhere, no matter what team, if your team won the Super Bowl, there is an unwritten rule that they should be the first game … and should be playing in front of their home fans.”
When the Jets open before their home fans, it will be against the team showing the most interest in a potential trade for Darrelle Revis. The star cornerback is rehabilitating a major knee injury, but is in the final year of his contract and wants to be among the highest-paid defensive players in the NFL.
Asked Thursday night if the NFL was showing a sense of humor or irony by having the Jets start with the Bucs, Ryan avoided the topic.
He was his usual effusive self about visiting New England. Noting that the Jets were routed 49-19 at home by the Patriots on a short week last Thanksgiving, Ryan vowed, “We definitely will play better.”
“It is hard to play worse,” he added. “It is a huge challenge any time you play New England. On a Thursday night I am sure we will make a better account of ourselves on national television.”
New York also has a Monday night prime-time game at Atlanta on Oct. 7. That’s the only other national TV appearance.
Considering that they went 6-10 in 2012, that’s understandable. But with such a big following in the nation’s largest city, it’s an unusually small number.
“Granted you have to earn your way getting those prime-time games,” he said. “It was easy to put us on when we had back-to-back championship games we went, too; obviously you will get the prime-time games. Certainly last year with the record we had, it is not surprising that we would only be on there twice.”
The Jets’ bye is after Week 9.
Sep. 8 Tampa Bay 1 p.m.
Sep. 12 at New England 8:25 p.m.
Sep. 22 Buffalo 4:25 p.m.
Sep. 29 at Tennessee 4:05 p.m.
Oct. 7 at Atlanta 8:40 p.m.
Oct. 13 Pittsburgh 1 p.m.
Oct. 20 New England 1 p.m.
Oct. 27 at Cincinnati 4:05 p.m.
Nov. 3 New Orleans 1 p.m.
Nov. 10 BYE
Nov. 17 at Buffalo 1 p.m.
Nov. 24 at Baltimore 1 p.m.
Dec. 1 Miami 1 p.m.
Dec. 8 Oakland 1 p.m.
Dec. 15 at Carolina 4:05 p.m.
Dec. 22 Cleveland 1 p.m.
Dec. 29 at Miami 1 p.m.
Is Ryan spot on when it comes to the O’s? Be heard in the comments…
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