Getting a Little Woody Anticipating the NY Jets vs. NE Patriots Rematch

Glenn CardSenior Analyst IJanuary 11, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 19:  Running back Danny Woodhead #39 of the New England Patriots celebrates as he runs off the field after defeating the Green Bay Packers 31-27 at Gillette Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

No apologies for my politically incorrect title. I’m glad the NY Jets made it past the Indianapolis Colts in last week’s Wild Card playoff game.

And as we should have anticipated, the Jets' big man, Head Coach Rex Ryan, couldn’t help but make this game personal. He rightly took it on his shoulders in making this game all about a battle of wits between Bill Belichick and himself.

It’s my contention that Rex made terrible mistake with his announcement as he discounted his opposing team, the New England Patriots, through his “me against Bill” comments.

And I quote, “When you look at it, both teams are very even. When you look at the players, our teams are solid across the board. When you look at the assistant coaches, we’re on level ground. So this is going to be about me raising my level against Bill Belichick.

"I recognize he’s the best. But I’m just trying to be the best on Sunday. And I plan on being the best coach on Sunday. … He’s going to going to get everything I have on Sunday. If he slips at all, we’re going to beat him.

Obviously, I am only taking a small blurb from all Rex had to say during his recent 20-minute press conference. There was just too much material to work with so I decided to limit myself to this little bit. Considering the season long controversy the Jets have weathered I couldn’t help but notice all the references in Rex’s statement.

For instance, “If he slips at all”, really Rex? Are you saying that Bill has delicate feet? We know you have no intention of kissing Bill’s rings, but what about his tootsies?

He also contends that all the assistant coaches between the two teams are on level ground. Well yeah, have your ever tried tripping someone while they were running at full speed uphill? It’s far less effective, because the runners’ momentum and upward footing helps the runner retain their balance.

Now if the runner is going downhill when the assistant coach trips him, the tumbling act that results points directly at a tripping incident. Flat ground is best for deceptive tripping.

I have no argument against players from both teams being solid. It stands to reason that each and every player has trained and worked themselves to a high level of physical fitness.

I will point out that inappropriate text messaging, derogatory sexism and drunken driving accusations bring to question any resemblance to solid character from members of the team.

It’s the phrase that precedes that, “both teams are very even”, which is possibly the most explosive and detrimental point to Rex Ryan’s attempt to deflect pressure from his own team.

It is an established fact that a primary “Belichickism” is known as, “Thy team shall not dwell upon any other game than the next one,” which goes hand-in-hand with its sister “ism”, “Thy team shall only prepare for the next opponent.

Unfortunately for Rex, he made his statement thinking only of his team, the NY Jets. The Patriots, on the other hand, have been sitting on a bye week, not knowing who they would be playing in the divisional round.

It would be safe to assume that, with all the young players the Patriots have this year, it might be hard for some of them to focus on just the next game. Here’s the but; knowing that they had just recently trounced a team, nay, demolished a team who now deems themselves equal to the vanquishers, can only have a polarizing effect.

Rex might try to blame the loss on the wizard behind the curtain, but the players themselves know the wizard is only half the formula. If you thought the Patriots were ready for the Jets in their last outing, I feel that the focus the Patriots take into this coming playoff game will be burdensome for the Jets to overcome.

Waxing philosophical, we can say that this upcoming rematch game is a game of giants. As the head coach for the Jets, Rex Ryan qualifies just for his physical size. On the other side of the ball, with the Patriots, we can point towards Bill Belichick and Tom Brady as giants just with their presence on the field.

For this game though, the giants will be secondary to the rest of the players of the game, which brings me back to the premise of the title of this article.

The Jets had best watch out for the little guys, not the giants. It will be a rejuvenated Deion Branch or a reconstructed Wes Welker who will cause problems for the Jets in this game.

Short of stature Julian Edelman could be troubling in punt returns. Of all the little guys, the one with the biggest axe to grind is a Jets castoff, the one who was deemed not fit to retain a Jets jersey, our own “Little Woody”, Danny Woodhead.

In a game of giants it could be the little guys with “short man” complexes, being told that they are no better or equal to opposing players that their own team beat a few short weeks before that will be the down fall of the Jets this time around.

Try as you might Rex Ryan, you might claim the burden of a loss, but truth be told, just because you say all things are equal doesn’t make it so.