FOXBORO (CBS) – The New England Patriots and New York Jets have a heated rivalry on the field.

But off the field this preseason, the coaches are singing each others praises.

Jets head coach Rex Ryan was had nothing but good things to say about Bill Belichick’s in an NFL Network interview, telling Michael Irving Bill was the “best coach in the game.”

“I want what Bill Belichick’s got. I think Bill Belichick is the best coach in the game, and I don’t think it’s close,” Ryan said in the interview set to air next week. “If it ever comes down to just me versus him, we’re going to come on the short end of the stick. But when it’s about us and it’s about our football team versus his football team, that’s where I have even more confidence.”

Read: Levan Reid’s Patriots Blog

Belichick said Thursday he’ll take the praise, and gave some back.

“It’s a nice compliment. I’ll take it,” he said. “I don’t think it really means anything, but it’s nice. I think we all know I have a lot of respect for him and his program down there too. Kind of right back at him.”

Gresh & Zo: Bill Peppered, Then Talks Movie Candy

This is a big difference from when Ryan first took over the Jets, and said he was not there to “kiss Belichick’s rings.”

After posting a 2-2 record against Bill and the Patriots in the regular season, and defeating the Patriots in the playoffs in 2010,  he may have softened a bit.

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