- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
- 0 Shares
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- When New York Jets coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum were looking at the roster this April, Ryan thought they would need some additional pieces if the team wanted to reach a Super Bowl.
Given the fact that the Jets play the Patriots twice a year -- at least -- Ryan wanted an additional cornerback specifically for the matchup with their AFC East rival.
"Specifically I felt we needed to get another corner to match up with New England," Ryan said. "So we drafted Kyle Wilson also and that was to try to beat New England and Indianapolis and whoever else got in our way.
"We tried to build our team to win a Super Bowl and we thought to win a Super Bowl you have to beat New England. We'll see if that blueprint works or not. We beat them once already."
Wilson, the first-round draft pick out of Boise State, hasn't been the player Ryan had hoped when he was running guys down during training camp, but he has become a serviceable nickel in his rookie season.
He will be in rotation when the 9-2 Jets head to Foxborough next Monday to face the 9-2 Patriots. The Jets defeated New England 28-14 in Week 2 this season.
"I think especially with the individuals we have we match up well against them," tight end Dustin Keller said. "And I think we have the type of personnel that our best game will beat their best game. That's what we're built for.
Braylon Edwards, from the point of view of someone relatively new to the AFC East, characterized the matchup as part of an "ugly rivalry." Between Spygate and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's comments earlier this year that he hated the Jets, Edwards said it reminds him of the animosity in the Browns-Steelers rivalry.
"You don't have to hate anyone to beat anyone but that adds a little more fuel to the fire," Edwards said. "You go after that play that much harder, you try that much more to get that extra inch when you hate somebody."
Jane McManus is a columnist and reporter for ESPNNewYork.com.
2dESPN Stats & Information