CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Bart Scott offered this response Friday when told that New York Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas sees Monday night as a chance to send a message to the big-talking, camera-loving New York Jets:
Who's Terrell Thomas?
"I don't even know who the hell Thomas is ... Is it Tim Thomas?" the Jets' linebacker said. "Whoever that guy is, he has a right to his opinion. Personally, I don't give a [expletive]."
It's only a preseason game -- the opener, no less -- but the annual Jets-Giants affair has a new twist. A couple of twists, actually: It's two weeks earlier than usual and it will be the first football game in the New Meadowlands Stadium.
The teams co-own the $1.7 billion stadium, but the Giants, perhaps envious of the Jets' "Hard Knocks" exposure, have been chirping. Thomas told the New York Daily News that the Jets are "claiming New York and that it's their town. We're not feeding into that. But at the same time, we want to send a message to them that it's still our town. And it's going to be our stadium."
No doubt, the Jets are talking a lot, and now the entire HBO-watching nation knows about their Super Bowl mission and their F-bombing coach, Rex Ryan. Don't like their brash style? Too bad. They don't care what other teams, least of all the Giants, think.
"We're just going about our business and having fun, whether the camera is there or not," Scott said. "We're not putting on a show for anybody. We're acting the same way we did before people believed in us."
Guard Brandon Moore acknowledged the Giants "might have some jealousy. Or maybe they're plain, old sick and tired of hearing about us. We've been in the press, on the back pages and on HBO ... I think it's definitely going to be a little more spirited than it has been in the past, a little more activity in this game, especially in the beginning."
For the most part, the Jets see this as the start of a long journey, one they expect to end in Dallas in February.
"Our goal is to win the Super Bowl," wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. "This is just the first step."
Said nose tackle Kris Jenkins: "We hope the fans enjoy the environment and the competition, but at the same time, we understand what we're building for. Winning a preseason game isn't going to get you a Super Bowl ring."
Jenkins tried to downplay the "It's-our-town" chatter emanating from Albany, but he added, "It's cool for them to feel that way, but we're here to stay and that's it. That's all I can say."
Ryan admitted the game might have "a little extra" because it's opening night in a new stadium, but he doesn't expect a regular-season atmosphere. Believe it or not, he has a healthy respect for the Giants because "they're a tough team."
There's definitely an arrogance to the Jets. That was Thomas' impression after watching the first episode of "Hard Knocks," in which Ryan tells his players on Day 1 of camp, "If we play our best, we will beat every team in this [expletive] league playing at their best."
Told that Thomas used the word "arrogance" to describe the Jets' attitude on "Hard Knocks," Scott smiled.
"Were they watching?" he asked. "That's all I want to know. Were they watching?"