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Before the first Jets-Dolphins game this year, Rex Ryan said that the team planned to put some "hot sauce" on Reggie Bush.
Ryan wasn't having a flashback to his pre-weight loss days and dreaming about chicken wings when he said that. He was either talking about hitting Bush hard enough to limit his production or doing something to injure him, depending on who's explaining the comment.
Ryan said it was the former and Bush said it was the latter, a feeling that got some support when Jets linebacker Calvin Pace said after the game that the Jets had to put Bush out of the game after he ran for 61 yards on his first 10 carries. That's just what happened in the second quarter, although the injury seemed to come from the regular course of play without any backdrop.
Naturally, this has been a talking point this week and the Jets are firing up the rhetoric. While Ryan is apologizing (and asking for an apology after Bush said the Darrelle Revis injury was karma), his players are moving in the other direction.
"Every time he sees me, he will remember that hit," safety LaRon Landry, who had the initial hit when Bush got hurt, said. "If I'm in the box or I'm going downhill, he'll remember that hit. If I get penalized, I'm not going to stop head-hunting I'm not going to stop the way I play."
"We feel like we can kick guys' butts legally, in between the hashmarks," linebacker Aaron Maybin said. "That's what we need to do against Reggie."
For the sake of the Jets, it would probably be best to keep such thoughts to themselves in the future. Maybin's comment alone isn't particularly incendiary and probably passes without notice if not for Landry's rather ridiculous pledge to go head-hunting in a league that has to take a strong stand on such things thanks to the expanded knowledge of just how horrible the aftermath of head injuries can be for football players.
And it would be especially wise to keep things to themselves now that the Saints' bounty program has raised awareness about concerted efforts to hurt players on other teams via methods legal or illegal. While there's no payment program in evidence with the Jets, there's not much benefit to inviting an investigation into what goes on behind closed doors and pledges to go after the heads of opponents is just the sort of thing to catch eyes at the league office.
No one expects humility from the Jets after this many years with Ryan at the helm. You would expect them to be smarter than this, especially with their coach trying to turn down the volume he never should have turned up in the first place.