IX - I imagine that there's mixed feelings about the New York Jets and their brash, outspoken head coach, Rex Ryan. For this week, I certainly 'hate' the Jets. But generally speaking, I think Ryan is great for the game. You hear players and organizations talk about the NFL being a business, blah blah blah. Yes, it is a business but what they forget to include that it's show business. Entertainment. And Ryan is exceptionally entertaining. The reason I have no problem with Ryan's antics are simple: he never disparages a player or opponent. Instead, he just boldly defends and publicly builds up his own players. There's a huge difference. Anyway, here's a transcription of Ryan's latest weekly appearance on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio New York. If you're so inclined, you can listen to the audio file directly instead.
X - Here's another reason why I think Ryan is more genius than bafoon. He's got the Jets quiet and focused this week rather than continuing to yap just to keep up appearances. Ryan knows the Steelers are more physical and battle tested than the Pats, and it's wise that he and his team have changed gears as they get ready for Sunday's AFC title game at Heinz Field.
XIII - Good news on the injury front. Defensive end Aaron Smith, sidelined since late October with a triceps injury, returned to practice on Tuesday. Tomlin explained, "Aaron Smith is going to practice this week. We'll see where that practice takes us," Tomlin said. Even though this next quote is just stating the obvious on the part of Tomlin, I'm including it because it's Tomlin and he finds a way to make the mundane sound badass. "Snap count is probably going to be part of that discussion," Tomlin said, but that "it would be nice to add that tool to the toolbox."