From the ’82 AFC Championship Game shutout to Marino’s Fake Spike to the Monday Night Miracle, there have been many twists and turns in the Dolphins-Jets rivalry over the years. In 2012, there’s no love loss between the rivals.
Much of the media talk this week has focused on the back and forth dialogue between Dolphins running back Reggie Bush and Jets head coach Rex Ryan.
Before the teams’ meeting in September, Ryan stated that the Jets needed to put some “hot sauce” on Bush. The Dolphins running back ran effectively against the Jets early in the September contest, gaining 61 yards on 10 carries, before Bush left the game with an injury. Following the game, several Jets players implied that it was no accident that Bush was injured.
Also injured in that September 23rd contest was Jets All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury. In the week following the game, a hobbled Reggie was asked about the Revis injury from Paul & Young Ron on BIG 105.9-FM and said, “They talked about 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.”
On Wednesday, Ryan was asked about Reggie’s comments during his conference call with South Florida reporters and responded ”I just really think it was out of emotion. I understand where Reggie is coming from. He was injured, and that’s not good, that’s not for him or the league. I think he took my comments (the wrong way). I certainly didn’t mean that. I never want to hurt a player in this league.”
Bush held his press conference on Wednesday and was asked about Ryan’s statement earlier in the day that perhaps Bush took his comments prior to the September 23rd game the wrong way. “I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that at all, but it is what it is. Like I said, the great thing about divisional opponents are that you get a chance to play them twice.”
Bush was also asked if he was worried about retaliation from the Jets.
“Not at all. Retaliation? They’re the ones that started it,” Bush said. “If there ever was any retaliation, it would come from us. With this team, the caliber of guys and the character of guys that we have on this team are guys that play with respect for the game. Guys that go out there and they play hard. It’s football. I didn’t go and complain and whine about being a target of the Jets. I expect that every game.”
Later in the afternoon on Wednesday, Jets safety LaRon Landry spoke to reporters about Reggie’s injury in the September meeting.
“Every time he sees me, he’ll remember that hit,” Landry said
The Jets other safety, former Dolphin Yeremiah Bell, has now seen each side of the AFC East rivalry and spoke with South Florida reporters yesterday.
“I play on the Jets now, so I am on the other side of that rivalry. What we want to do is beat the Dolphins. When I was on (Miami) it was vice versa. I’m not really worried about which side I’m on. I’m just glad I’m on a side and I’m just going out there trying to win games. That’s what it’s about,” Bell said.
Not every Jets defender was so diplomatic, though. Linebacker Aaron Maybin said Bush will be a target on Sunday.
“We want to knock him out, but we’re out to do it legally,” Maybin said on Wednesday, via ESPNNewYork’s Rich Cimini.
On Thursday, Dolphins center Mike Pouncey responded to Maybin’s remarks.
“He’s not even going to play enough plays to touch Reggie,” Pouncey said. “So his comments are irrelevant.”
Dolphins Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake isn’t finding the need to read newspaper articles or re-watch the heartbreaking September loss to the Jets to find motivation for this Sunday.
“If that’s what it takes for you to get up for this game, you’re already out of this thing,” Wake said. “Being down here in South Florida, you already know what Jets week is about. Regardless of what happened last game, you’ve got to be turned up for this game….I can’t wait.”
We can’t wait either. Sunday is only three days away.
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