Ryan on Belichick: You'd want a beer with him


Ryan on Belichick: You'd want a beer with him

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey -- In addition to Rodney Harrison's sit-down with Deion Branch and Wes Welker for Football Night in America, Bob Costas interviewed Jets coach Rex Ryan.

Not all questions were Patriots-related, but here are a few that were:

Costas probed Ryan about the lack of hype leading up to Sunday night's AFC East rivalry game. Is the hope that New England won't fight back if not provoked?

Ryan scoffed at the 'Let sleeping dogs lie' theory.

"No. We dont care if theyre down, up. Who cares?" he said. "We know that this game is huge. We know we have to find a way to win this game. Thats kind of where our focus has been."

Costas tested Ryan's resolve with a game-day scenario, basically resting the outcome on either a Jets defensive stand or a Sanchez drive, and asking which the coach would prefer. Ryan handled the idea diplomatically.

"Ive got confidence in both sides of the ball," he said. "The strength of our defense is just the whole package. Statistics are what they are. I know were not ranked very high offensively, but we are in the red zone. So, Im confident either way."

As if there was any doubt.

Less certain: Would Bill Belichick like Ryan's acting debut? Costas had to ask about the buzzed-about Adam Sandler project, in which Ryan plays a lawyer-slash-die-hard Patriots fan.

Ryan says New England's coach will love it.

"I think the funny thing about Belichick is, hes a great guy and hes funny. Hes somebody youd like to drink a beer with and all that," Ryan said. "Hes more normal outside of football than he is (inside it). His football persona is what it is and it should be. Hes looked at this way. But outside of the game, hes just like you and I."

We'll have to take your word for it, Rex.

Gostkowski named AFC special teams player of week


Gostkowski named AFC special teams player of week

FOXBORO -- It's been an uncharacteristically erratic season for Stephen Gostkowski, but on Sunday the Patriots Pro Bowl kicker was dialed in. And his four field-goal performance against Los Angeles earned him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. It is the second time this season and the fifth time in his career that Gostkowski has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, having also won the award after the first game of the season at Arizona. 

Gostkowski's missed four field goals so far this season. He hasn't missed four in a year since 2012 when he missed six field goals. He's also missed three extra points. While the Patriots were a little downcast about the inability of their offense to close out drives against the Rams, an ancillary benefit was undoubtedly Gostkowski having a day that should boost his confidence going forward. 

Belichick shares Pearl Harbor thoughts on 75th anniversary of the attack


Belichick shares Pearl Harbor thoughts on 75th anniversary of the attack

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick's connection to the Navy has been well-chronicled in this space and others, and so it comes as little surprise that he gladly took the opportunity to discuss Pearl Harbor and its aftermath when given the opportunity during a press conference Wednesday, the 75th anniversary of the attack. 

"Yeah, pretty big day in our history," Belichick said. "Certainly in Naval history. But for me, the lesson on Pearl Harbor, and for us as a team and individually, I'd say, is not what happened on Dec. 7 -- although there was a lesson there -- but the response.

"What the response was from our nation, from our military, from our civilians, from our population, to battle the world on two fronts and win both of them. Think of what this country did under [President Franklin Delano] Roosevelt's leadership, as well as multiple military leaders, and then go fight in Europe and go fight in Southeast Asia and Japan, the response to what happened on Dec. 7, 1941 is pretty impressive.

"I remember my dad talking a lot about that, when it happened, when he found out, then when he went to the Navy and went to Great Lakes, and then eventually went to Europe and eventually went to Okinawa. It was a tough time for this country, but it was a great example of the Patriotism of our citizens, men, women, fighting together, pulling together and being victorious in a lot of different ways.

"It's special. Special day . . . Tough day for the Navy, though, but they responded. They bounced back. Battle of Midway, that was really a huge turning point. Had it not gone on the way it did. I don't know, it probably would've been a longer fight." 

Before delving into his response, Belichick mentioned that documentary filmmaker and former WJAR sports reporter Tim Gray, who once covered the Patriots, has done a great deal of work on World War II. Gray's latest documentary, "Remember Pearl Harbor," will debut on 125 PBS stations throughout the country today.