First, Kris Jenkins said the Jets were preparing like Sunday’s game against New England was the Super Bowl. Then, Jets coach Rex Ryan sent out a voice mail to season-ticket holders pleading with them to make things miserable for the Patriots Sunday at the Meadowlands.
Now, Jets safety Kerry Rhodes is chiming in with an apparent allusion to creating traffic around Tom Brady’s surgically repaired left leg.
Rhodes told the New York Daily News that the Jets were going to “try and embarrass” the Patriots and rattle Brady.
“I’m sure if somebody is around his leg or he feels pressure below, he’s not going to step into his throw,” Rhodes added.
Of course, that would be true for any quarterback. So true, in fact, that it bears no mentioning. The fact that Rhodes does mention the Jets applying pressure “around his leg” goes right up to the line of what’s appropriate pregame trash talk.
Some might feel it’s beyond it.
And this presents a mild problem. Because even while Ryan’s tone in tweaking the Patriots has been entertaining, Rhodes — who by no means has a reputation as a dirty player — has now changed the tone from one of merely standing up to the tyrannical Patriots to going after an opposing player’s injury.
We’re not being naive. Of course the Jets want Brady to move laterally and be unable to step up in the pocket. And why wouldn’t they say so? But publicly declaring an injured area is going to be targeted, as Rhodes seems to, is not wise.
Ryan’s tail-twisting has been very general. Rhodes’ comment? Probably a little too specific.