Now, this is Jets week.
A day after New York linebacker Aaron Maybin told ESPN New York, “We want to knock [ Reggie Bush] out, but we’re out to do it legally,” Dolphins players got Bush’s back – emphatically.
Center Mike Pouncey, in particular, was fired up.
“I don’t even know why Aaron Maybin’s talking,” Pouncey said. “He’s done nothing in this league to even open his mouth. I don’t even want to talk about him. He’s a joke.”
(Pouncey has a point. Maybin has been on the field on less than 25 percent of his team’s defensive snaps this year, and has one tackle all year.)
But Pouncey wasn’t done.
“If he’s in there [Sunday], I guess we’ll say something to him,” Pouncey added. “If he’s in there. I’ll have to be on punt-block or something to say something to him.”
Bush’s health is a particularly sensitive subject in Miami. He hurt his left knee midway through the first New York game a month ago, and the Jets can’t seem to stop talking about it. But Maybin’s remarks, which suggested the team would try to hurt Miami’s star running back Sunday, ramped the intensity up a notch.
In the post-Bountygate, concussion-conscious era, such comments were sure to get the league’s attention.
“On a confidential basis when we believe it is appropriate, we contact teams about certain comments to remind them of their responsibility to play within the rules and that the comments will lead to close scrutiny of their play,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement.
Pouncey aside, the Dolphins mostly shrugged off Maybin’s threat. Coach Joe Philbin invoked the “it’s-a-free-country” response when asked about it, but – as he has done before – did say he wasn’t fond of mouthing off to the media.
“You shouldn’t be talking about, ‘I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that. I, I, I,’ ” Philbin said. “Hopefully our guys will show a dose of humility and understand this is a team game.”
For the most part, the Dolphins players did just that Thursday. However, there was little doubt that Maybin’s barbs – which he tried to back away from Thursday – won’t soon be forgotten.
“It’s football,” said starting right guard John Jerry. “All I’m saying is, once the bullets start flying, don’t get quiet.”
Added defensive tackle Randy Starks: “It’s not cool, but I’m sure the offensive line will take care of that.”
MARSHALL OUT SUNDAY
Richard Marshall did not practice again Thursday and according to a source, the Dolphins’ starting corner will miss his third straight game due to a back injury.
Nolan Carroll is expected to take Marshall’s place in the lineup, while Jimmy Wilson will likely get the nod as the nickel corner.
Starks, meanwhile, returned to work Thursday after missing practice the day before with an undisclosed personal issue.
Jets linebacker Bart Scott missed practice for a second straight day, and indicated to New York media that a mangled toe will keep him out of Sunday’s game.
THIS AND THAT• Jabar Gaffney – and when he’ll play – has been a regular topic of conversation at Philbin’s daily press availability, and when asked about it again on Thursday, the Dolphins coach took the persistence in stride.
“It’s possible [he’ll play],” Philbin said. “He’s making good progress. We’ll see. If he does, we’ll get it up on Broadway lights or something. ‘His debut is coming.’ ”• The Dolphins Business Alliance will honor former all-pro linebacker Kim Bokamper for his professional success after football at the Touchdown Club’s weekly gathering next Tuesday. The event will be held at Bokamper’s sports bar in Miramar.
Miami Herald staff writer Armando Salguero contributed to this report.