ORCHARD PARK — Dwan Edwards knows exactly how the Jets’ players feel.
The defensive end is now in his second season with the Bills, but the previous six years — one of them spent on injured reserve — Edwards played for the Ravens.
After being picked in the second round of the 2004 draft by Baltimore, his first position coach was one Rex Ryan.
The next season, Ryan was promoted to defensive coordinator and after four seasons of putting up glittering statistics with the Ravens, he was named head coach of the Jets.
All Buddy’s son has done since is take New York to consecutive AFC Championship Games, and become beloved by both his players and the media for whom he has become an unending source of fantastic sound bytes.
Infinitely quotable, Ryan, whose father was an icon with the Bears and Eagles, predicted, before the season, his team would win the Super Bowl ... a source of profound annoyance to any number of his peers.
Thus, few were disappointed when the Jets got off to a 2-3 start that ended with consecutive road losses at Oakland, Baltimore and New England.
But since, New York has won two straight, beating the Dolphins and Chargers, and Sunday will try to get its first road win against the Bills.
And that got Edwards talking about his former coach.
“I lOVED HIM, I still have a lot for respect for the guy,” the former Oregon State star said. “I definitely want to beat him (but) he was my defensive line coach coming in so I learned a lot from him.
“He’s a competitive guy, he wants to win. He wants his team to believe they’re the best team in the world regardless if they are or aren’t.”
Edwards theorized, “I guess if your team feels like they’re confident, you’ve won in your approach.”
Then, too, with some of his outrageous comments, Ryan also deflects some of the spotlight of criticism from his players.
“I think he definitely puts some of the pressure and attention on himself and I guess, depending on what kind of team you have, it could help,” Edwards said. “It could hurt you too, but I guess it works for them.
“I think (Ryan’s) entertaining, mainly because I know him, I know what kind of person he is.”
AND DURING his Wednesday conference call with the Buffalo media, Rex was Rex.
When asked about the AFC East with the standings somewhat reversed as the Bills are on top, via a head-to-head win over the Patriots, and New York is a game back of both, Ryan was pointed.
“I don’t think it’s flipped on its head,” he said of the division. “There’s a lot of football left to be played. We plan on being at the top of this division when it’s all said and done ... but there’s a lot of work to do.
“Buffalo’s playing really well right now, and obviously New England’s New England. You know it’s not going to be easy, but our plans haven’t changed one bit. (Coming off the bye week) is good, we’re ready to roll ... we’re ready to make our move right now, and that’s our intentions.”
As for Sunday’s game being critical, Ryan admitted, “we’re not denying that. We’re not worried about ‘Let’s wait till week whatever, 12 or 13, ... we’re ready to make our move now. “
(Chuck Pollock, the Times Herald sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)