Sunday's big playoff game between the Patriots and Jets may be bringing subtle joking at the expense of New York coach Rex Ryan but he says he's fair game.
Ryan said Friday he could take it as word spread to him of multiple feet or toe mentions on Thursday by Patriots receiver Wes Welker during a recent press conference.
The coach - who has previously declined to comment on videos online purportedly showing his wife in foot fetish poses except to say it's a personal matter - reiterated his stance to reporters on Friday.
I think this is a huge rivalry-type game and anything goes. I can take it, he said. I'm not going to discuss it but I can take it.
On Thursday, Welker made at least nine references to feet or toes within the context of his preparation for Sunday's game.
On his approach to the Sunday's game, Welker said:
It's a playoff atmosphere. You can't just stick your toes in the water, you know, you've got to jump right in.
On whether that atmosphere transfers to practices, he added:
Yeah absolutely, really moving forward and really just us going out there and being good little foot-soldiers and making sure we're going out there and doing coach asks us to do.
On preparing for the Patriots' blitzes, he said:
You definitely have to be on your toes and make sure that you're ready to go.
And on his quarterback Tom Brady:
He does a great job of making sure everyone's on the same page and everybody's putting their best foot forward and going out and playing well and doing what they can out there.