On Thursday, Greg Bedard of MMQB published a great piece on Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine. I encourage everyone to check it out. One portion of the article did spark a few flames around the NFL coaching circle, though, particularly in Mike Pettine's former division, the AFC East. It started when Pettine was describing why the Browns' initial playbook would be relatively thin: to prevent teams like the Patriots from stealing it.
The initial playbook itself is actually quite thin, and that’s by design. "I don’t put a lot of graduate-level information in it," Pettine says. "We know in places like New England, it’s only a matter of time that they somehow mysteriously end up with our playbook."
Pettine told a story of how, at Wes Welker’s wedding, Tom Brady bragged a little bit to Jets outside linebackers coach Mike Smith, who was Welker’s college roommate, that the Patriots may or may not have had possession of a couple Jets defensive playbooks.
"It didn’t shock me because Rex would give them out like candy anyway," Pettine says. "He gave one out to [Alabama coach Nick] Saban and I was like, ‘Don’t you know Saban and Bill [Belichick] are pretty good friends? I have a feeling it’s going to end up in New England.’"
The media in New England and New York were quick to ask Bill Belichick and Rex Ryan, respectively, about what Pettine had to say:
Have the Patriots ever had a copy of the Jets playbook? Belichick responds, "Go talk to Mike Pettine. I don’t know."— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) June 19, 2014
Ryan defended the Jets in this article, and was also clearly irritated with Pettine:
Q: Where does Rex's relationship w/ Pettine stand now? ..."It's in a bad spot right now (laughs). Like, 'Really, dude?'"— Kimberley A. Martin (@KMart_LI) June 19, 2014
At least he hasn't pissed off the Bills yet...except for the fact that he took half of their defensive staff.