“Hey, I’m just going to be myself,” the brash Ryan has said many times since being hired in New York in January 2009.
From pregame warmups to the final snap, insults and jokes are shouted between players with each looking to get under the other’s skin.
“When somebody talks trash, it gets me going, naturally, because I grew up around it,” Dallas running back Tashard Choice said. “It just makes me more fiery, man, it brings you out. I grew up talking trash. I grew up in the ‘hood. That’s what we do.”
“But, you know who runs their mouths a lot? Special teams guys,” Pryce said. “On kickoffs and kickoff returns, they are jawing back and forth. That’s where you hear most of the talk.”
Trash talking in the NFL is certainly nothing new, with Deion Sanders and Warren Sapp known as much for their mouths as their outstanding talent. It has all been ramped up the past few years by players using social media such as Twitter to intimidate and distract.
“Twitter has taken trash talk to a whole new level,” Pryce said. “It’s personal. They know where your mom lives and all kinds of craziness. That’s why I don’t have a Twitter account. I don’t want anybody talking to me about any foolishness.”
“I’ll hear stuff that’s said about me and I’ll go on attack and I’ll go on a little rampage,” Owens said. “People can never really grasp the context of which I’m texting, so they take it that I’m (angry) and stuff like that. There are things that you do hear and you take offense to it, but I think Twitter and all these social networks are a way of really getting your point across and really giving your side of the story.
“So for myself and I know Chad, I have a lot of fun with it.”
Finnegan prefers to keep his trash talk on the field.
“It’s just for Sundays,” he said. “I mean, really it’s one extra thing you do to get under someone’s skin. … Anybody who knows me off the field knows you love what you do so much, you try to take it to the next level, and that’s what I try to do.”
Some players use it for motivation, while others simply ignore it as much as they can.
“It’s entertainment, really,” Cowboys linebacker Keith Brooking said. “For me, I think there’s a line there, as far as the amount of trash that you talk. It’s good entertainment. It’s fun. But when I step on the field, it’s not motivating for me to stop a guy because he’s talking trash.”
Looks, abilities and speech are all fair game. Just one rule: Mothers are off limits.