By Tim Graham
INDIANAPOLIS -- Rex Ryan dialed back his usual bluster.
Rarely afraid to playfully hurl trash talk about is friends, the New York Jets head coach was diplomatic Thursday when discussing new Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
Pettine turned down an in-season offer to extend his contract with the Jets and eventually became Bills head coach Doug Marrone's defensive coordinator.
At the NFL scouting combine in Lucas Oil Stadium, I asked Ryan how his old pal can impact the Bills' defense. Pettine left the Baltimore Ravens with Ryan to join the Jets in 2009.
"I think, No. 1, they got a heck of a start," Ryan said. "They have a lot of outstanding players in the building already. So I think that's the main thing.
"Then, obviously with Mike going over there to put in this style of defense, I think it will be interesting. I think it's going to help them."
And how much more competitive will this make the AFC East?
"I'm not really worried about them as much as I'm worried about us," Ryan said. "To me, my focus is on this football team.
"As much as I care about Mike Pettine, I don't really care about him now, wearing another color jersey. I do care a great deal about Mike, but our focus is on making our team better.
"We're assuming every team is going to get better, but the team that has to get better clearly is the New York Jets."
tagged2013 NFL scouting combine | Doug Marrone | Mike Pettine | Rex Ryan