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Browns coach Mike Pettine draws ire of Rex Ryan, Bill Belichick

By Nate Ulrich Published: June 19, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine ruffled some feathers by suggesting to Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bedard that the New England Patriots have gotten their hands on the New York Jets’ playbook. Bedard’s story published Thursday.

Pettine, who was the Jets’ defensive coordinator under coach Rex Ryan from 2009-12, told Bedard a story about Patriots quarterback Tom Brady running into Jets outside linebackers coach Mike Smith at receiver Wes Welker’s wedding and bragging about the Patriots possibly obtaining copies of the Jets’ playbook.

“It didn’t shock me because Rex would give them out like candy anyway,” Pettine said. “He gave one out to [Alabama coach Nick] Saban and I was like, ‘Don’t you know Saban and [Patriots coach] Bill [Belichick] are pretty good friends? I have a feeling it’s going to end up in New England.’”

Some versions of Pettine’s playbook are made thin as a precaution. 

“I don’t put a lot of graduate-level information in it,” Pettine said. “We know in places like New England, it’s only a matter of time that they somehow mysteriously end up with our playbook.”

Ryan was bothered by Pettine’s comments. He told reporters that he gave Saban a playbook when he visited the Jets’ facility, called it “ridiculous” that it could impact games and insisted the Patriots have never had an unfair advantage against the Jets.

“One thing I know for a fact: No. 1, I think it’s disrespectful to New England,” Ryan said via Newsday.

“Everyone needs to talk to Mike Pettine cause he’s got all the answers. … I don’t understand what he’s trying to gain by it.”

Asked where his relationship with Pettine stands, Ryan laughed and said, “It’s in a bad spot right now. Like, ‘Really, dude?’”

Belichick also seemed irritated.

“Go talk to Mike Pettine,” Belichick told reporters Thursday. “I don’t know.”


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