Both the Giants and the Jets rejected the notion that relations were strained by the issue. John Mara, the Giants’ owner and team president, told reporters that his relationship with the Jets and their owner, Woody Johnson, had never been better.
When Coach was asked if he had any negative feelings toward the Giants, he said, “Officially, no,” drawing laughter. He added: “Just kidding. It’s their facility. They can do anything they want with it.”
When Mara ran into Stephen Ross, the Dolphins’ owner, at the premiere for the Broadway show “Lombardi,” Ross told Mara that when the Dolphins played the Jets late in the season, he might bring them early to see the show. Mara joked about Ross’s chances of selling that to , who was then a team executive.
A few weeks ago, Ross called Mara and said the Dolphins were indeed coming early, and after Mara agreed to let them use the Giants’ facility for their Saturday walk-through, he also agreed they could use the indoor facility for Friday’s practice. In the same situation, Mara said he believed the Giants would receive the same response from another team.
That depends. During his news conference, Ryan said he would not want another team using the Jets’ facilities. “I don’t want anybody using our facility except us,” he said. “I would feel funny.”
Johnson called Mara on Wednesday morning. Their discussion covered many topics, including the they will host in 2014, the current labor negotiations and the overblown Dolphins’ issue.
In retrospect, Mara said he wished that he had called Johnson earlier but that Johnson also sounded “fine with it.” Mara continued: “The last thing in the world I want to do is get them upset. Again, I do not consider it a big deal. But apparently it was a slow enough news day that it has become a big deal.”
BURYING BITTER FRUIT Rex Ryan borrowed an old motivational ploy on Wednesday morning. Players arrived for their team meeting at 8:30 a.m., and while many anticipated harsh critiques during film study of their 45-3 loss to New England on Monday night, Ryan instead ushered the Jets outside. There, he buried a football used in Monday’s game in the dirt next to the practice fields.
According to several players, the burial drove home Ryan’s point, that the Jets have to push their nightmarish defeat from their minds and concentrate on the final four games of the regular season. Of all of Ryan’s frequent motivational ploys, cornerback Darrelle Revis said this might have been the best.
Braylon Edwards said: “I’ve never had a coach like him. That’s why I love playing for him. He understands players.
“It may come off one way to the outside world, but we understand inside this locker room and these walls what his points and intentions are. We get it.”
Perhaps the burial worked as intended. Center Nick Mangold said the Jets did not perform any penalty push-ups during practice, which meant they were not whistled for any penalties.
EXTRA POINTS To speed up the Jets’ slow starts this season, Rex Ryan said he was considering breaking one of his most cherished traditions. When the Jets win the coin toss, they always defer, preferring to let their defense set the tone. But with the offense sputtering early as of late, Ryan said he might elect to let that unit take the field first. … Braylon Edwards couched his comments by saying it did not bother him, but he said, “I don’t want to say the ran up the score, but they ran up the score.” …Ryan said he visited safety in the hospital before the New England game. Leonhard broke his right leg in Friday’s practice.
Judy Battista contributed reporting from East Rutherford, N.J.