PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – Bitterness and nastiness have been replaced by praise and compliments.
On Saturday, the Steelers comeback victory knocked the Baltimore Ravens out of the postseason; then, on Sunday, the New York Jets finished off the New England Patriots.
Jets’ coach Rex Ryan says this Sunday’s match-up between his team and the Steelers has “a different feel.” It sounds different, too.
For the Jets, last week was all about Ryan vs. Bill Belichick, Antonio Cromartie vs. Tom Brady, and Bart Scott vs. Wes Welker. Back-page headlines just added to all the hype until the Jets took care of business on the field by beating the Patriots.
This week, don’t expect a bunch of trash talk to overshadow the AFC championship game. This time, it’s not personal for Ryan. Not against Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.
“Rex has a lot of fun with you guys [reporters], but when you see past all of those things, this is a great football coach,” said Tomlin. “I think he’s great for the Jets, and I think that’s all he’s concerned about being great for. He’s got them in the AFC Championship game. I’m sure that he’s not concerned about the National Football League.”
Meanwhile, the Steelers will hit the practice field today in anticipation of the big game.
“The great thing about football, and particularly playoff football, is you guys [reporters] can do all you want to try to write the script to how this game could potentially unfold all week. The reality is, nobody knows,” added Tomlin. “That’s why it’s going to be awesome to be in the stadium at 6:30 on Sunday.”