FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- It's interesting how Rex Ryan's feelings about the Baltimore Ravens have changed over the years.
In 2008, his final year in Baltimore, Ryan worked under John Harbaugh after being passed over for the head-coaching job. The following year, he was hired by the New York Jets, mentioning at various times that he was stung by the Ravens' snub. This is what he told Sports Illustrated's Peter King in May 2011:
"Coaching in Baltimore 10 years and then not getting the job, that's a thing that drives me. As much as I respect the people in the Ravens' organization, they never thought I could do the job, and that's a major chip on my shoulder.''
On Sunday, the Jets play in Baltimore. Ryan was asked Wednesday if there's added incentive because Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti didn't hire him. His updated response:
"No, not really. Steve’s one of the reasons I got this job. ... I certainly didn’t take it personally, too bad, when it happened. No, you know what? All I did was say, ‘I’ll do the best job I possibly can and I’m going to take it out on the league.’ That was my approach, so that was kind of what I did. I was given this unbelievable opportunity, and so that’s behind me, but I have no hard feelings whatsoever with that organization. I mean, none whatsoever. Shoot, I spent 10 great years there, but hey, I understand the business."
Maybe time has healed the old wounds. Maybe Ryan has mellowed. Maybe he doesn't want to provide bulletin-board fodder before the game. Maybe he doesn't want to upset his current bosses.
Ryan is 0-2 against the Ravens and, no matter what he says or doesn't say, he wants this game badly -- for many reasons.
ICYMI: Tough week for Geno Smith. He got hit hard by the Bills' Marcell Dareus, in more ways than one, and now he has to go on the road to face the defending Super Bowl champs. ... WR Santonio Holmes didn't practice Wednesday. Should the Jets be worried? ... WR Stephen Hill will have a smaller role, he confirmed. Ryan, who rarely criticizes players, criticized Hill. ... The Jets signed former Patriots LB Jermaine Cunningham. ... NFL Nation buzz: An analysis of the Jets' simmering quarterback controversy.