FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Talk about no respect.
The New York Jets, portrayed as a potential sleeper after their season-opening win in Detroit, are listed as a three-point underdog to the Cleveland Browns.
A team that has won only one of its past 37 games. A team that has gone 633 days without a victory.
"Really?" Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland said Monday, when apprised of his team's underdog status. He sounded surprised, but he insisted he wasn't.
"It doesn't bother us," he continued. "It's something that won't keep me up at night."
If the Jets are deriving motivation from the perceived slight, they're doing a great job of keeping it in-house. Chances are it hasn't come up in meetings. Todd Bowles isn't a bulletin-board kind of coach, meaning he doesn't use the no-respect thing as a rallying cry. In his world, the Browns (0-1-1) are a quality opponent, just like every other opponent.
"They're definitely not an easy out," he said. "The two last games they lost went down to a nail-biter at the end."
Bowles insisted he doesn't have to oversell the Browns to his players to keep the Jets from taking their opponents lightly.
"Not at all," he said.
Bowles has contributed to Cleveland's extended period of misery. He's 3-0 against the Browns, 18-29 against the rest of the NFL. Still, the Jets will be the 'dog in the Dawg Pound.
"It means nothing to me," former Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor said. "It means nothing to Cleveland; it means nothing to the Jets. Paper is paper. There are so many teams that are underdogs and they're coming out and beating guys. It really doesn't matter."
The optimists in Cleveland (are there any left?) might say the Browns should be 2-0. They tied the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, then missed the chance to upset the New Orleans Saints, falling 21-18 because of a field goal fiasco that cost kicker Zane Gonzalez his job.
They're going to win a game one of these days. Surely, the Jets don't want to be That Team. For that reason, and because they have plenty of their own issues to sort out, the Jets insist they won't underestimate the team that plays in the factory of sadness.
"I don't think we have the right," Copeland said, "to take anybody lightly."