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Belichick Laughing All The Way

06.10.09 at 2:39 pm ET
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FOXBOROUGH — Patriots head coach Bill Belichick chuckled when asked whether he heard new Jets head coach Rex Ryan say that he didn’t come to the AFC East to “kiss Bill Belichick’s rings.”

Ryan is in his first year in New York after serving as Baltimore’s defensive coordinator.

“I have a lot of respect for Rex and what he did in Baltimore, the defense his teams played,” Belichick said Wednesday following the first of three minicamp sessions this week. “We’ve always had great battles with the Jets so I’m sure that will continue. It’s a good rivalry. They beat us up here last year. They kind of got the last punch in on that one. It’s a new year.”

On June 3, Ryan told Sportsradio WFAN in New York that he wasn’t intimidated by Belichick or the Patriots.

A week later, Belichick got a laugh out of it, and then added he has total respect for the Jets as well as the entire AFC East, a division the Patriots didn’t win last year for the first time since 2002.

“Right now, we’re really more focused on Buffalo than any other team in the division because we open with them,” Belichick said. “We’re going to have to deal with Miami and the Jets as well and we have a lot of respect for all those teams.”

Told that the division could suddenly be filled with trash-talking teams, Belichick, smiling again, said he’d like to focus on his own team.

“Oh, I don’€™t know,” Belichick said. “Right now I’€™m just trying to coach our team and get our guys ready to have a good week of practice and get them ready for training camp. That’€™s really what we’€™re up for is getting our team ready and when it’€™s time to play we will show up to play.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Jets, Patriots, Ravens
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