REX RYAN got on the phone, paused for a second and then offered the one positive thought he could come up with.
"Well, I got up this morning," the New York Jets coach deadpanned, "so that's a good thing."
But Ryan was just getting started on setting the tone yesterday for a wild week leading up to a huge showdown with the rival Giants. For anyone who wondered whether the bold and brash coach would be muffled by what he called a "horrible performance" against the Eagles, not a chance.
"Quite honestly, I never came here to be little brother to anybody," Ryan said on a conference call. "So, it's on."
Ryan obviously was not happy about the Jets' 45-19 drubbing Sunday, a game some players called embarrassing. There were turnovers, breakdowns and missed opportunities.
But, in typical Ryan fashion, the coach used his mouth to shove all that aside.
"Certainly, we were the better team the first 2 years," Ryan said of his Jets and the Giants. "We made the playoffs and went to the [AFC] Championship Game. To say a team's better than you that never made the playoffs is ridiculous. Clearly, we were the better team my first 2 years. We get to prove it Saturday who the best team is this year."
Ryan did acknowledge that both the Jets (8-6) and Giants (7-7) are having "disappointing" seasons, but they're still in position to make the playoffs.
Neither team would be completely out of it with a loss Saturday, but Ryan doesn't want to even think about that scenario.
"There's a lot of talk going back and forth, most of it driven by me," Ryan said. "But I'll stand by anything I've ever said. I didn't come here to be anybody's little brother. I came here to win, to be looked at that way and to take over not just this city, even though it's the city to take over, but also this league. I haven't accomplished that yet. Saturday, I think, will go a long way to doing that."
In other news, a source with knowledge of the injury said Jets running back/kickoff returner Joe McKnight has a separated right shoulder. The source said McKnight was hurt in the loss to the Eagles. McKnight is averaging 32.3 yards a return, best in the league, and has a 107-yard touchdown.
New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin said he is "very concerned" about getting defensive end Osi Umenyiora back from an ankle injury in time for Saturday's game against the Jets. Umenyiora has missed the Giants' last three games.
* Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy has yet to be medically cleared to resume practice following a concussion, and it remains unclear if he will play again this season. McCoy hasn't played since taking a helmet-to-helmet hit by Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison in a loss to the Steelers On Dec. 8.
In other news, Browns receiver Jordan Norwood and linebacker Ben Jacobs sustained concussions in an overtime loss to Arizona Sunday. Coach Pat Shurmur also said linebacker Titus Brown suffered a "significant knee injury."
* Chicago receiver Johnny Knox will miss the rest of the season after undergoing back surgery. He was injured in Sunday's loss to Seattle.
* New England defensive end Andre Carter is done for the season, according to a report. The Boston Globe reported he suffered a quad injury in Sunday's win over Denver.
* Minnesota left guard Steve Hutchinson and cornerback Asher Allen suffered concussions in Sunday's loss to New Orleans.