The big question, who’s the best quarterback in the league?  Is it Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees?  Well Jets’ coach Rex Ryan decided to answer that question.  He of course noted that his answer is with the exception of Peyton Manning being out.  Check what he had to say after the jump.

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Tom Brady isn’t having a season that approaches his MVP campaign in 2010, but Jets coach Rex Ryan still has a great deal of respect for the Patriots star.

“The guy’s a tremendous quarterback,” Ryan said during his Wednesday press conference. “Clearly, without Peyton playing, I’d say he’s the best quarterback in the league right now.”

With one sentence, Ryan let us know where he falls on the eternal “Brady or Manning?” debate, while also revealing he hasn’t watched much Green Bay Packers game tape this season.

Ryan was on his best behavior during both his press conference at Jets’ headquarters in Florham Park, N.J., and during a conference call with New England-area reporters, giving the Patriots little in the way of bulletin board material.

He did credit the Patriots for beating the Jets decisively in Week 5, the last game the Jets lost before running off three consecutive wins to pull into a first-place tie in the AFC East.

When asked about playing without All-Pro center Nick Mangold in the Oct. 9 meeting at Foxboro, Ryan acknowledged it was a huge disadvantage.

“We never make excuses, but I wanted to,” Ryan said. “He’s the best center in football, kind of like theDarrelle Revis of corners, and that’s what I think Nick Mangold is at center. Having him out was obviously a great loss to us.”

The Jets and Patriots are going in opposite directions, and you know Ryan is aware of the opportunity the Jets have on Sunday night to seize control of a division the Patriots have dominated for a decade. The stigma of “Same Old Jets” has dissipated in the Ryan era, and taking care of Brady and the Pats at home would be another example of why that’s happened.