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So it Looks Like PlaybookGate is All a Bunch of Horseshit


HeraldAs if the Patriots-Jets rivalry needed an excuse to get any weirder, right? Browns coach Mike Pettine, who was the Jets defensive coordinator from 2009-12… claimed Tom Brady once bragged to former Jets outside linebackers coach Mike Smith at Wes Welker’s wedding that the Patriots “may or may not have had possession” of some Jets defensive playbooks. Pettine also told Sports Illustrated that Jets coach Rex Ryan gave a playbook to Alabama coach Nick Saban… Belichick was asked today if the Patriots have ever been in possession of a Jets playbook. “Go talk to Mike Pettine,” Belichick replied. “I don’t know.” Ryan just answered questions from the New York media, according to Kimberley Martin of Newsday, and he didn’t sound overly pleased about Pettine’s attention-grabbing remarks. “One thing I know for a fact, number one, it’s disrespectful to New England,” Ryan said. Ryan then called it “ridiculous” multiple times, according to Martin, and added, “Everyone needs to talk to Mike Pettine because he’s got all the answers. … I don’t understand what he’s trying to gain by it.” The University of Alabama has also joined the party against Pettine. “The playbook Rex Ryan gave coach Saban is in his office,” an Alabama spokesman told Fox 6 in Birmingham, Ala. “Coach Saban didn’t send the playbook to anyone and wouldn’t do so under any circumstances.”


So I guess there’s nothing to see here, folks.  Just another Jet – this time it just happens to be an ex-coordinator – going off the rails and trying to cover up his own failings with some phoney baloney story about the Patriots only beat him because they had his playbook.  Just your garden variety smear campaign designed to make the Pats look like they’re not on the level so everyone can call them the Cheatriots and talk about asterisks and Spygate blabbity blah blah.  Even Sexy Rexy admits it’s disrespectful to New England  (Side note: How do Belichick’s rings taste, Rex?)  and can’t figure out what his former protege’s angle is in all this.  Of course he’s right the press should ask Pettine.  They should ask him if he’s ever heard the name Eric Mangini.  And if he knows what happens to guys who drag the Pats reputation through the mud.  Because Mangini is walking the Earth a wounded man now.  A shadow of himself.  Pre-Spygate he was cocky and arrogant, the Mangenius who was destined to ascend to the NFL throne.  But Belichick ruined him.  Reduced him to Mangina.  The Reek to the Theon Grayjoy he once was.  Pettine is the flavor of the month this offseason, before he’s ever head coached a snap in the NFL.  And if he wants to survive in this league, he better learn fast not to spread scurrilous lies about the Pats.  It doesn’t end well for guys who do.

PS.  Not that I’d mind one damn bit if the Pats did have the Jets playbook.  If Ryan is dumb enough to hand it around, it serves him right.  Hell, the Union got their hands on Robert E. Lee’s battleplans for Antietam when a soldier found them wrapped around a bunch of cigars.  It pretty much saved the country and I never heard anyone say Lincoln deserved an asterisk for using them.  Besides, PlaybookGate (if it really is a -Gate at this point) wouldn’t be the first time a great leader won by reading his opponent’s book: