Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine told the MMQB’s Greg Bedard in an excellent profile written about the first-year head coach that the New England Patriots may have taken the New York Jets playbook. Bill Belichick is a very easy target for accusations of cheating, and the comments weren’t really even strong allegations either; they were more like semi-pointed quips.
Rex Ryan didn’t take well to Pettine’s comments, which included a remark about how Ryan gives away playbooks “like candy”. Per ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini, Ryan stated that he is “ticked off” that Pettine would imply that the Pats had an advantage over the Jets, and Cimini added that the Jets head coach isn’t “happy” with his former defensive coordinator.
Cimini also tweeted that Ryan stated the playbook changes each year, and he also stated that he doesn’t like how Pettine’s comments seemingly discredit Belichick, whom he effusively praised as a great coach and hard-worker, which are both traits often attributed to the Patriots HC/GM. It’s important to always remember that Belichick and Ryan have an incredible amount of respect for each other, even if the rivalry causes some fans to think differently.
This will all die out in a few days, and it’s easy to see why Ryan is upset with what Pettine said. It reflects poorly on both organizations, creates unnecessary buzz about something that probably didn’t happen anyway, and if you read Pettine’s comments closely, it’s clear that there’s plenty of room for misinterpretation and misinformation.