There's discussion to be had whether or not Rex Ryan can be classified as a great coach. But it'd be impossible to deny the man's skills as a promoter.
The Christmas Eve showdown between the Jets (8-6) and Giants (7-7) didn't need help with hype, considering the market and stakes as a near-playoff game for both teams. But Ryan threw kerosene on the fire this week by stating, then reiterating, his feeling that the Jets are the best team in New York and have been for some time.
As you might imagine, all this chat doesn't do much for Tom Coughlin, the Giants' traditionalist coach, who essentially is oil to Ryan's vinegar. Coughlin made it clear Wednesday that anyone looking for a war of words between the city's two head coaches is out of luck.
"I just say, regardless of the talk, it will be decided at one o'clock Saturday afternoon," Coughlin said in his first media comments on the game. "Regardless of what is said. Talk is cheap, play the game. That is the way I've always believed."
For his part, Ryan said he didn't care what Coughlin had to say and added: "I know what I believe, and I don't care if it's acceptable and everybody -- I really don't care. I'm worried about my opinion, this is how I feel, and quite honestly, I could care less what anybody thinks."
Coughlin also was asked about Plaxico Burress, the former Giants wide receiver who caught the winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLII, then saw his tenure with the team end after he went to prison on a gun charge.
"I see the same kind of red-zone threat that he has always been," Coughlin said of Burress, who has eight TD grabs for the Jets this season. "He has made some spectacular catches, the one down in Philadelphia, and he has had a couple more of those kinds of catches. He has certainly done an outstanding job there and not just there, in other spots as well."
Ryan is sure to keep yapping all the way up to kickoff. Coughlin is just as sure not to say anything even remotely inflammatory. They're two very different coaches with the same goal.