The rivalry between AFC East combatants the Jets and the Dolphins has heated up in recent days. New Jets head coach Rex Ryan and Miami linebacker Channing Crowder have traded multiple barbs in the media, with Crowder firing the latest shot. From MiamiHerald.com:
Before we get to Crowder's latest rebuttal (it's worth the wait), we should first get you up to date on the unprompted comments Ryan made during a news conference earlier in the day when he made it clear he didn't appreciate Crowder calling out the Jets for getting ahead of themselves in June.
''I don't know this Channing Crowder,'' said Ryan, the Jets' first-year head coach. "All I know is that he's all tatted up, so I guess I ought to be nervous about him. The other thing is I think he's wrong because I do think you win in June. I think you win with your preparation and all that kind of stuff. If I was younger, I'd probably handle him myself.''
So yes, it's June. And yes, a linebacker and a head coach from rival teams are talking trash. This might be the football equivalent of Christmas in July -- and it only gets better. Reached on his cellphone Tuesday, Crowder responded to Ryan's comments with this:
''Oh, Lord have mercy,'' Crowder said Tuesday. "What's wrong with him? Now he's talking about preparation? We play them twice this year. If he wants to be prepared, shouldn't he know the starting middle linebackers of his division rival?''
As for the notion that Ryan would ''handle him myself'' if he was ''younger,'' Crowder begs to differ.
''He says he'd take care of me if he was younger?'' Crowder said. "I'd have beat the hell out of that big old joker. Or if he really wants to get retro, my daddy or my uncle could have handled him. Don't get big. Win with preparation? Start watching some tape and learn who your rival is. Come on now.''
• Crowder to Jets coach: 'Learn who your rival is' (MiamiHerald.com)