When divisional rivals face off, there is always a reunion of sorts. The teams face each other so often, it almost is a reunion each time the teams play. It’s no different for the Jets and Dolphins, who renew their annual rivalry tomorrow afternoon in Miami. Maybe the biggest reunion will be for Tony Sparano, who returns to Miami for the first time since he was fired as head coach of the Dolphins last season.
Rex Ryan knows about reunions with former teams, with a couple of matchups with the Baltimore Ravens under his belt since he has left to be the Jets’ head coach. According to Rex, it will be a good experience for coach Sparano:
Yeah, different situation [than when Ryan faced Baltimore], but it will be special, there’s no question. You know, he has a ton of respect and admiration for those players, in particular. There are probably a few coaches there that have coached with Tony that are still there, and that’s a big thing, there’s no question about it. It’s weird because just like I always want the Ravens to do well and things, but that particular day, not so much. He takes a great deal of pride in those guys that play over there, so that’s special going against guys, a lot of your players, your former players and things.
But again, you’re going there to win, and that’s it. It’s always nice to see guys that you’ve coached, and I think that’s a special thing. Especially before a game and after the game, you’ll see the difference. But when it’s time to play, it doesn’t matter who’s over there, whether it’s your twin brother, whether it’s guys you’ve coached for 10 years. They’re in a different color jersey. You really don’t care about them then. But as soon as that game’s over, I think it’s special.
It has to be odd, going back to face a team that you worked with previously. Relationships don’t end, so he must still be close with guys within that organization. Maybe he might want revenge as well, after all, they did try to hire Jim Harbaugh to coach, while he was still working. Maybe going down there, this will be a motivation to execute a first rate game plan.
Here’s hoping they do. The Jets need this one badly.