HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) Willie Colon and the New York Jets heard Andre Williams loud and clear.
They’ll let the New York Giants rookie running back know what they think Friday night.
”We’ll answer all of his remarks tomorrow,” Colon said after a walkthrough practice at Hofstra University on Thursday night.
Nothing like a little preseason trash talk, huh?
”At the end of the day, that’s our house, and we consider it our house,” Colon said of MetLife Stadium. ”The only way to solve it is to beat them.”
Williams added some spice to the preseason matchup when he told the New York Post that the Giants ”are the real New York team.” Jets coach Rex Ryan jokingly fired back at the running back, saying he last saw Williams getting ”smoked by Clemson” last year.
The fourth-round pick out of Boston College later wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that New York is big enough for two teams and he didn’t ”mean to come off as if I’m running my mouth.” Williams added that it was ”awesome” that Ryan was sought out for a response, and said it was ”an honor” that the coach was watching the game – a 24-14 Clemson victory. Ryan’s son Seth is a redshirt wide receiver for the Tigers.
There isn’t much juice for most preseason games, but Colon acknowledged that bragging rights are at stake.
”It’ll kind of be a big dress rehearsal for us,” Colon said, ”and we’ll see if we’re as good as we say we are.”
When asked if he wishes he played on defense to personally make a play on Williams, Colon laughed and mentioned big nose tackle Damon Harrison.
”That’s why I’ve got `Snacks,”’ Colon said, ”and I’ve got a top defense to have that conversation with him.”
The practice in front of 11,000 fans at Hofstra marked the first time the Jets returned to their former training home since 2010. The team moved to Florham Park, New Jersey, after training camp in 2008 and hadn’t been back to Long Island in four years because of scheduling conflicts.
”There’s a feeling of nostalgia and it’s good we had a strong showing of fans,” said left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson, a native of nearby Freeport. ”We’re still loved out here. It’s always good to be back home.”
Ryan recalled going to practices at Hofstra when the Jets moved to the college in 1968, when his father Buddy was an assistant coach.
It was an even sweeter homecoming for Colon, who played for the school’s now-disbanded football team – but doesn’t have his number retired alongside former Hofstra standouts such as Wayne Chrebet and Marques Colston.
”It was fun, and it brought back some memories,” Colon said. ”I kept getting heckled about why my name and number aren’t up there.”
However, former Jets offensive lineman John Schmitt’s No. 77 – also the number Colon wore – is retired.
”Maybe they’ll put another one up there with Willie’s number,” Ryan said, smiling.
NOTES: Ryan announced that rookie S Calvin Pryor will start against the Giants. It will be Pryor’s first start after he made his NFL debut as a reserve last week at Cincinnati. ”You know he’s ready for it,” Ryan said. ”You saw the game as well as I have and you’ve seen practices. It was more a matter of time.” … Ryan also said backup CB Darrin Walls will start. … Ryan expects the game against the Giants to be ”physical” and not necessarily ”chippy.” Colon, however, added: ”I think we’re a chippy team by nature.”
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