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The Dolphins and Jets will face off on Sunday, and as usual, Jets coach Rex Ryan is engaged in a war of words with the Dolphins. This time, Dolphins RB Reggie Bush is the target of Ryan and Jets safety LaRon Landry.
Before the Dolphins' Week 3 loss to the Jets last month, Ryan said the Jets were going to put "hot sauce" on Bush, a remark Ryan said meant lots of attention, not intent to injure. Bush hurt his left knee in the game on a hit by LaRon Landry.
Though Ryan later denied the Jets ever intend to hurt any opposing player, his remark came under extra scrutiny when Jets LB Calvin Pace said the Jets planned to "put him on out." Pace later apologized and insisted there was no "bounty" on Bush or anything malicious meant by his comment.
A few weeks later, Bush implied that an unrelated knee injury that ended the season of Jets safety Darrelle Revis was the result of bad karma resulting from the hot sauce remark.
Bush told reporters in Miami that he wasn't concerned that the Jets might try to get him back Sunday when the teams meet at MetLife Stadium.
"Retaliation? They're the ones who started this," Bush said. "If there was ever any retaliation, it would come from us. But this team and the caliber of guys and the character we have are guys who play with respect for the game and play hard. It's football. I didn't go and complain or whine about being a target of the Jets. I expect that every game. I don't expect for it to be any different this game. I expect it to be a tough game, probably some trash talking going on. It's going to be a physical, tough game.
"It's a divisional opponent. That's the great thing about playing divisional opponents. You get to play them twice. It'll be fun this time around."
After hearing about Bush's latest comment, Landry took the opportunity to tweak Bush verbally.
"When guys yap back and forth, obviously you've done a great job," Landry said. "No matter if it was a bonehead play or whatever, I mean, you got to them in some type of way that they had to speak on it. I don't really get into all that and the Twitter and everything. We'll see on Sunday.
"I'm grateful for another opportunity to play this guy, and he will remember that hit. Every time he sees me, he will remember that hit. If I'm in the box or I'm coming downhill, whatever, he will remember that hit. I don't worry about what those guys say."
Landry thinks he and the Jets have succeeded at getting into an Bush's head. "Just watch the way he runs," he said. "We'll see when he comes out here this Sunday. I don't want to say too much and I'm not going to overtalk it and make a story."
Ryan said Wednesday he is not worried about Miami retaliating, either.
"I never said we were trying to injure Reggie Bush, that's not even close," Ryan said. "He's going to get our attention. I'm sorry, but he's a player that's going to warrant a lot of attention and that's what I meant by my comments. If it was taken differently, I apologized for that. But trust me, we know when he's in the game."
Ryan also said "I expect [Bush] to do the same," meaning apologize for his karma comment. But later in the day, he clarified that Bush does not need to apologize.
"I'm sure he kind of got caught up in the moment," Ryan said. "He was injured. I mean, obviously, no one likes to get hurt. And that certainly wasn't my intention and I hope he understands. But he doesn't have to ever say anything to me, or even reach out to Revis.
"But I would expect him to, for the simple fact that that's his peer. That's one of the elite players in this league."
Regardless, Bush thinks Ryan actually did want him injured. "I don't believe that at all," he said.