Rex Ryan: Jets ready to play

Updated: January 23, 2011, 11:51 AM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan and the New York Jets might as well have exchanged Valentine's Day cards this week with the Pittsburgh Steelers, considering how much praise they've expressed for one another.

Ryan warned everyone Friday, however, not to think that the Jets are any less motivated because they aren't preparing for the AFC Championship Game with splashy quotes.

And then he threw out a splashy quote.

"They've had six Super Bowl trophies," Ryan said of the Steelers organization. "If they want to put them on the field, we will play them, too."

He added: "I can assure you we are going to play well and I can assure you that team [Pittsburgh] is going to get everything we have just like always. We know what's at stake. We want the [AFC championship] T-shirt, we want the hat and we want the trophy. So I don't know what else I need to say."

Prior to beating the Colts in the AFC wild-card game, Ryan said beating Peyton Manning was personal. Before last week's win over the Patriots, Ryan made it all about him versus New England coach Bill Belichick. And Antonio Cromartie used profanity to describe his dislike for Tom Brady.

This week, the Jets have been polite and humble, and it might have some worried that they are out of character. Certainly, the NFL frowns on all of the trash talk. But Ryan said the lack of talking hasn't taken anything away from his team, which he says is dialed in and ready to play for the conference championship for the second straight year.

Ryan believes his team is better-equipped this year in the AFC title game than last year, when Manning and the Colts won in Indianapolis.

"I feel great because I think we are bringing in a better football team," Ryan said. "I think we are bringing in a team that can run the ball and throw the ball, where I think last year we were a little more one-dimensional [with the run]."

"I feel confident with this group," he added. "Having the experience of last year and the games on top of it also gives me a sense of that we are really prepared for this game."

Despite all of the nice things they have said about the Steelers, the Jets are eager to erase last year's memory of falling one step short of the Super Bowl.

"I think the fact that we had confetti dropped on our head with some other team's color on it is a motivator for us," Ryan said. "We want it to be green and white. We are doing everything in our power to see that that happens. Obviously Pittsburgh is going to have a lot to say about it, but I can tell you this: We are showing up."

The Jets culminated an intensive week of preparation with a penalty-free practice, according to several players -- a rarity. The team drills are closed to the media, but before they got underway, Holmes -- a former Steeler -- called his teammates together and spoke.

"He just said the last time we played them, our Friday practice was great and crisp," guard Matt Slauson said. "He said we have to do the same exact thing -- no false starts, no fumbles, no misses assignments. That alone set the tone."

James Ihedigbo said the practice was so crisp that "it was scary, one of those things where you see everything coming together before your eyes."

Ryan said, "[The] practice was outstanding, the focus was great, as you would assume it would be with this kind of a magnitude of the team. The guys were really working out there. They're dialed in."

Several players said they're taking home extra DVDs to study, also noting that position groups are staying late at the facility to put in extra study time.

The Jets will have a walk-through Saturday, followed by a pep rally at their facility that is open to the public. From there, they will fly to Pittsburgh, hoping to secure the franchise's first trip to the Super Bowl in 42 years.

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter. Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini was used in this report.

Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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