Saying he's put his time with the J-E-T-S in the P-A-S-T, Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan insisted the focus of attention shouldn't be placed on him.
In preparing to face his former team for the first time since being fired in December after six seasons in New York, Ryan announced he intends to designate linebacker IK Enemkpali as one of Buffalo's team captains for the game at The Meadowlands on Thursday night.
Enemkpali, of course, is the player who was released by the Jets for a punch that broke starting quarterback Geno Smith's jaw during a locker room confrontation in August.
As if the midseason showdown between two AFC East rivals needed any more prime-time buzz, Ryan found a way to up the ante to no one's surprise — including the Jets.
"Love it," New York receiver Brandon Marshall said, smiling. "That's a Rex Ryan move. I mean, are you guys surprised?"
Jets coach Todd Bowles, who replaced Ryan, deflected questions as to whether he considered the Enemkpali's designation disrespectful to Smith and the Jets.
"It's going to be a passionate game. It's going to be an exciting game, a whatever-type game, but not for the reasons that you may be thinking," Ryan said. "It has nothing to do with me or anybody else. That's the reality of it."
The only thing Ryan is certain of is what type of reception he'll receive Thursday.
"Oh, I think we all know. There's going to be a lot of waving out there," he said.
Ryan then broke into a smile and added: "One fingered and all that stuff. That much is a given."