Updated: 4:30 p.m.
What can get lost in all the Rex Ryan New York tabloid stuff, much of which he brings on himself, is that the guy can coach.
Whether it is as the Ravens defensive line coach under Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis or as the Ravens defensive coordinator or as the Jets head coach going 3-0 against Lewis, the guy can coach defense.
And on Wednesday's conference call with the Cincinnati media, Ryan raved about two defensive linemen in Sunday's 4:05 p.m. game at Paul Brown Stadium. His own, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Cincinnati's
“This guy is phenomenal, similar to Atkins. Really a dominant player in the interior. He’s 6-5, 315 pounds and great length," Ryan said. "He can beat you over the center, guard or tackle. The thing I look at with him is that he’s really consistent. He’s got six sacks on the season but a sack in every game but one. He missed (Ben) Roethlisberger three different times. He’s a good tackler. He’s an all-around guy. They shouldn’t even have a Pro Bowl if he doesn’t go this year. Without question, he should be a first-team All-Pro. Don’t even have the game if he’s not going.”
Ryan has high regard for the Bengals defensive line, even if he doesn't know all of their names. But he knows Atkins.
“The thing I love about him is he has a great motor. Has a great skill set, strong hands but I love his motor," Ryan said. "He keeps going and he’s got a whole complement of moves. He’s full of energy. He’s an outstanding player. When you have the two big bookends outside of them. (Carlos) Dunlap is playing extremely well and then (Michael) Johnson as a right end and then the big dude (
Ryan does know the names of the two Bengals tight ends, but as a guy that schemed for the Patriots tandem of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez six times since 2010, he doesn't see much of the same in
“I see them different. Certainly I can understand the Gresham and Gronk comparisons but I don’t see Eifert being Hernandez," Ryan said. "He’s a good receiver but just a different body type. Eifert is more length while Hernandez was more explosive. I think they’re different that way.”
TACKLING TEZ: NFL.com has Bengals WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict with a league-best 74 tackles, but you can understand why he's not concerned about tackling stats. The Bengals have him for 93 tackles. Plus, last week's press-box stats had him with 13 tackles in the win over Detroit. But the coaches awarded 17.
"That's why I really don't care about it," Burfict said before Wednesday's practice. The NFL gave me 10 tackles (in Detroit). The coach checks the film and says, 'I got you for 17 tackles.' How did they miss seven tackles? I can tell you there are other players they don't miss tackles, I can tell you that."
A Rex Ryan team loves to run the ball and this Jets team is no different. New York is 11th in the league in rushing and pounded it 52 times in the win over New England last week. But Burfict says he doubts the Jets will try it as much this Sunday.
"They're probably going to find out in the first 15 to 20 snaps that the run is going to be pretty hard against our front seven," Burfict said. "I was telling Rey (Maualuga), 'Man, I hope it rains. They'll be forced to run.' "
By the way, Burfict is follwoing in the footsteps of his locker mate, SAM linebacker
"I feel like I just played a game," he said.
HAWK BACK: Bengals wide receiver
He's on injured reserve-recall, meaning the Bengals have three weeks from Wednesday to decide how to proceed with him the rest of the season. He's eligible to return to the active roster for the next game (Miami on Halloween Night) after the Bengals play the Jets this Sunday.
It's believed that cornerback
TIX LEFT: There are still tickets available for Sunday's game, some in the lower level. No sellout announcement is expected Wednesday in anticipation of Thursday's 72-hour sellout deadline for local TV.
The fans who are going will be watching a Bengals team trying to go 4-0 at home for the first time since the 1988 AFC champs went undefeated at Riverfront Stadium. Left tackle
"It has been as loud and as great an environment since I've been here," Whitworth said. "I can still remember kicking a field goal against Buffalo (to win) and there were about 10 people in the stands. We've had some ugly shows and enough to where sometimes the other team's got more fans in the stands than we do. We're starting to create that environment. Hopefully we can continue."
Back on Oct. 2, 2011 the Green-Dalton era won its first PBS game before 41,142 on
"It's tough; we're used to it," Whitworth said. "We have to continue to try and create that environment so people buy in and want to come and want to be a part of it. That's all we can do. All we can do is go out there and play and try to win. This is an entertainment business and the end of the day to us it's about winning and hopefully that will entertain the fans and they'll come out and support us."