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Rex Ryan is never one to pass on an opportunity to build things up, so it stood to reason that he was ready with an answer to questions about the pressures that come with playing a game in New York on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
"The significance of it, I think it’s stronger than any game I’ve ever felt. I feel more pressure on this game for whatever reason than any game I’ve ever coached."
Nice words, even if it is hard to see a direct relationship between Sunday night's game against the Cowboys and the destruction of the World Trade Center no matter how hard the NFL tries to suggest otherwise.
The funny thing about Ryan's comments is that they would sound just as relevant if the game was being played on Sept. 13.
There's the fact that the game is against the Cowboys and a defense coached by Rex's twin brother Rob. Buddy Ryan is putting off cancer surgery so that he can watch his boys butt heads on the field, a backstory that certainly provides the kind of extra incentive that would make the Jets coach reach for the hyperbole button.
Then there's Rob's decision to make the first confirmation of Rex's appearance in those foot fetish videos that surfaced last season. Rob was asked about them on Monday and seemed to either forget or intentionall violate his brother's request that they be treated as a private, personal matter.
"Aw hell who cares," Rob Ryan said. "Believe me, everybody has whatever screwed up thing going on. I don't care. I'm sure you do, and everybody else that points fingers. Who cares? Everybody has a life off the field. Who gives a crap? I'm sure I'm worse than he is. So big deal. Naw, I mean hell, he is a little freaky I guess. Hell, I don't know. I like everything about my wife. She got great feet, too. She got everything nice. What the hell."
Who knew that Rex was actually the shrinking violet of the Ryan clan? But even the familial angle, ripe though it is, would be unnecessary for this to be one of the more pressured games of Rex's career.
The combination of Rex's bravado and the team's success over the last two seasons have set the bar incredibly high for the Jets and Sunday night offers the first chance to see how close they are to reaching or surpassing it.
As always, Rex has predicted the Super Bowl, throwing in talk of playing at home come the postseason this year as well, and that means he doesn't get any time to ease into the season.
The Jets need to show offensive growth against the Cowboys, they need to show that they made the right calls on personnel and Rex needs to show that he's capable of smoothing out the remaining rough edges of a team that underperformed too often in the last two regular seasons.
Any negative signs on any of those fronts will bring out the long knives and make Rex even more uncomfortable than he must have been when he heard his brother calling him freaky.
This might well be the most pressure Rex has ever felt when coaching a game, but the chances are just as good that the record will be broken before the season is out.