There was a lot of hype around the Jets being the team featured on this season's Hard Knocks, mainly because of the arrival of Aaron Rodgers in a blockbuster trade during free agency.
The show started with a bang, as the first episode created many headlines as New York's defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich was shown in a clip seemingly mocking the Patriots' famous mantra, "Do your job."
Although he was likely caught up in the moment during a team meeting and hoping to rally the team up as they prepared for the upcoming season, most viewers felt it was a bad decision for Ulbrich to downplay what the Patriots have accomplished during the dynasty years. Providing them with bulletin board material in the process wasn't so bright, either.
Since the episode aired, his comments have been plastered all over social media and were covered by multiple outlets nationwide, creating even more hostility between the two fanbases.
So because everyone has been talking about what he said, Ulbrich was asked by Jets media this week his reaction to the drama and if he wanted to clarify what he said on the tv program. That's when he began to walk it all back and insist they were not aimed at their divisional rival.
"First of all, it had zero reference to the Patriots. If anything, it’s paying an homage to the Patriots."
He went on into further detail about what he actually meant when he was speaking to the players, giving an explanation that sounded eerily similar to something that may have come out of Belichick's mouth.
He discussed the importance of the entire team doing their job but also going above and beyond that because sometimes, just doing what you're supposed to do is not enough.
“You see guys that are completely content just doing their jobs. I’m setting the edge… the runner cuts up the field, and they stop. And they come to the sideline, and it was an explosive run, and they said, ‘I did my job, coach.’ In my opinion, good defense is not played that way. The ball is oxygen to us, and we will finish on the ball every single time.
“Do your job first, and that’s huge. But then when you’ve got 11 guys, that’s not enough, the mathematics of it, you’re playing with 22 players when you’re playing that way, and in my opinion, that’s very hard defense to play against. It’s more just a mindset that I will get to this ball no matter what.”
Hearing his response to questions about his once-interpreted scathing comments makes it seem like maybe the footage shown didn't provide all the context needed to understand what he really meant.
Given how detailed his answer was also made it seem unlikely that he was fibbing, as he really had no reason to. Although his comments seemed controversial and even came off mockingly, no harm was done. The only real potential threat was Belichick using Ulbrich's words as motivation in the two games between the Jets and Patriots this season.
The good thing for Patriots fans, though, is even with Ulbrich's explanation, it's fair to assume Belichick will still reference his words as the Jets continue to be a team that the head coach loves to dunk on when given the opportunity.