Rex Ryan’s made-for-TV Jets a big, bleepin’ hit

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Here’s a four-letter word everyone’s using these days: J-E-T-S.

When it comes to juicy story lines and colorful personalities, the big-talking, foul-mouthed New York Jets have the perfect cast of characters.

Made for TV? No bleepin’ doubt about it.

“This is who we are,” said Rex Ryan, the Jets‘ brash and unabashed coach. “Some people are going to like us and some people are not. At the end of the day, we want to paint an accurate picture of who we are.”

Once considered the second NFL team in New York, the Jets are suddenly the most entertaining club in the league _ thanks to a surprisingly good 2009, a bunch of off-season moves and, most of all, their turn as TV’s newest reality stars.

Millions of viewers have been getting an eyeful and earful of the Jets this summer on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” The series covers preseason with the team, cuss words and all _ and there are a lot of them. Snooki and the gang from “Jersey Shore?” They’ve got nuthin’ on Gang Green.

“There’s certainly a lot of different things going on around here,” says veteran quarterback Mark Brunell, who joined the Jets last month.

Among those things: There’s Ryan and his players saying whatever’s on their minds. A heartthrob quarterback in Mark Sanchez, who’s trying to take the next step to stardom in his second year. Aging veterans LaDainian Tomlinson and Jason Taylor looking for one last chance at a Super Bowl. Darrelle Revis’ bitter contract dispute. Braylon Edwards’ bushy beard that became a trending topic on Twitter. Antonio Cromartie’s eight children. A brand-new stadium. A handful of popular players jettisoned. And, of course, all that championship chatter.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, people can’t help but talk about ‘em, all around the league.

“They’re the team for it right now,” Tennessee fullback Ahmard Hall says. “They have a lot of great personalities over there. They have Mark Sanchez, the Hollywood guy, you know the pretty boy. But he’s a great quarterback. You have Rex Ryan, probably the most outspoken coach in the NFL. Great for TV. It’s great TV.”

New England’s Tom Brady says he can’t stand the Jets so he won’t watch, but hey _ what do you expect from a guy who used to be the face of the league and plays New York twice a year?

“Yeah, we can definitely turn some people off, especially people from some other teams,” fullback Tony Richardson says with a grin. “That’s what happens anytime somebody’s getting hype.”

And that’s something the Jets certainly lead the NFL in right now.

“You look around the league and 31 other teams don’t like it a little bit,” says Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath, who led the franchise to its only Super Bowl win in 1969 and appeared in the season’s first “Hard Knocks” episode.

“They’re asking for trouble, in a sense,” Namath says. “You better go out there and put up because they’re going to have to shut up big-time if they don’t keep putting up.”

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