You just know the New York media is thirsting to turn this into another ridiculous episode fit for Spygate.
What sounds like a slippery bit of trickery between two fraternities is actually treated as something of an assumption by Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine, the Jets defensive coordinator from 2009-12, who suggested that Bill Belichick may have acquired the New York Jets’ playbook from close friend Nick Saban.
“I don’t put a lot of graduate-level information in it,” Pettine told Greg Bedard of Monday Morning Quarterback. “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 Bedard that he’d heard a story from Wes Welker’s wedding that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was bragging to Jets outside linebackers coach Mike Smith – a former college roommate of Welker’s – that New England had a couple copies of the Jets’ defensive playbooks in their possession. Pettine’s reaction? Meh.
“It didn’t shock me because Rex would give them out like candy anyway,” Pettine told Bedard. “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 Patriots are 6-3 vs. the Jets since the start of the 2010 season, which, of course, ended in a playoff loss at the hands of Rex Ryan and New York at Gillette Stadium.
On Thursday, after the Patriots completed their minicamp, Belichick was asked if he was ever in possession of a Jets playbook.
“You’ve got to talk to Mike Pettine. I don’t know,” he said.