Rex Ryan is in the fight of his life, but Bill Belichick is never far from his mind.
This has always been the case, all the way back to 2009, when Ryan, then a rookie head coach with the Jets, told the New York media he "never came here to kiss Bill Belichick's rings."
Belichick almost always gets the better of Ryan, but that hasn't stopped Rexy from connecting himself to the Patriots coach whenever possible. The latest example came Sunday, as Ryan basked in the afterglow of a season-saving win over the Cardinals. With the Bills heading to Foxborough in Week 4, a reporter asked about the Patriots' unsettled quarterback situation.
Ryan could have spun out of the question, telling the reporter he wanted to focus on that day's win. No one would have thought anything of it. But that's not Rex. Belichick is his white whale.
"Look, I can sit back and say I don't care who plays quarterback, because I know (Tom) Brady ain't," he said. "I don't care who plays quarterback; Steve Grogan can play quarterback. If Belichick's playing quarterback, we're coming after him. I promise you that."
One wonders if Ryan dreams about sacking Belichick. He blows past Nate Solder with a beautiful swim move, then delivers a pile-driving hit that sends the Patriots coach to the turf with such force that his hoodie bursts into flames. Ryan saves Belichick with a fire extinguisher and then drops a devastating, punny one-liner: "Running a little hot, aren't we Bill?"
It's safe to say Belichick doesn't dream about Rex Ryan. If the two men are ever in an elevator together, one could imagine Belichick going Full Draper on poor Rex.
"I don't think about you at all."