Jan. 15 ,2011, 2011 -- New York Jets coach Rex Ryan seems to be putting a lid on the war of words brewing between members of his team and the New England Patriots camp ahead of Sunday's game.
Ryan responded today to the digs that Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker made about his supposed foot fetish at a press conference on Thursday, saying that he "can take it."
Welker had subtly poked fun at Ryan during a press conference on Thursday, working the word "foot," "feet," or "toes" into his responses to questions.
"With Wes Welker, well, I think this is a huge rivalry type game and anything goes. I can take it. I'm not going to discuss it, but I can take it," Ryan said Friday, according to the New York Daily News.
Ryan's alleged foot fetish came to light when videos of a woman who looks like Michelle Ryan, the coach's wife, displaying her feet surfaced in December of last year on the sports website Deadspin. In the clip the woman's feet are discussed with an off-camera man that sounds a lot like Rex Ryan.
The topic has been sensitive for the coach, who has responded to inquiries about the video that it is a "personal matter."
The thinly veiled jabs from Welker came a week after Ryan took a verbal shot at Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, while praising Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.
"There's nobody like this guy in the league. Nobody studies like him," Ryan said. "I know Brady thinks he does. I think there's probably a little more help with [New England coach Bill] Belichick with Brady than there is with Peyton Manning."
With a straight face, Welker delivered the references to feet and toes while speaking to the press on Thursday ahead of the Patriots' Sunday game against the Jets.
"These are the games you play for. What you spend all year getting ready for and you just want to put your best foot forward," Welker said.
He went on to say "You can't just stick your toe in the water" and that the team should "Just go out there and be good little foot soldiers."
Jets center Nick Mangold took to his Twitter feed to respond to the press conference on Friday, escalating the war of words.
"Wes Welker is a great player. He's really taken advantage of watching film. If we don't keep a Spy on him, he could really open the Gate," he tweeted.
The referenced to "Spy" and "Gate" seem to allude to the "Spygate" videotaping controversy of 2007, when the Patriots were disciplined by the NFL for videotaping the Jets' defensive coaches' signals.