Playbookgate 2014! The world is going to end!
In an interview with MMQB.com, Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine, Rex Ryan‘s defensive coordinator with the New York Jets from 2009-2012, said the New England Patriots might have a Jets playbook through Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
Ryan has said:
“I get it, because I gave a defensive playbook to Nick Saban when he came here and spent four or five days with us. One thing I know for a fact: No. 1, I think it’s disrespectful to New England to say, ‘Oh, they did this.’ I can tell you every single game we’ve ever had with New England has been decided on the field.”
Ryan is 100% correct.
Saban is currently on vacation, but he denied the report through Jeff Purinton, one of Alabama’s associate athletic directors. Saban said the playbook Ryan gave him is still in his office at Alabama and that he is friends with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Ryan and he wouldn’t consider doing something like that to either coach.
That makes sense. You can dislike Alabama and/or Saban, but it is hard to believe Saban would just hand over someone else’s playbook.
According to Pettine, Patriots QB Tom Brady bragged to Mike Smith, another form Jets assistant, that the Patriots may have a copy of the Jets’ playbook at Wes Welker‘s wedding in 2012. First, as stated above, it is highly unlikely that Saban gave Belichick or anyone on the Patriots staff anyone’s playbook. Second, even if the Patriots did somehow get their hands on a team’s playbook, it is seriously doubtful that Brady would boast that fact. Brady has toed the company line and followed the “Patriot Way” since he came to New England. Why would be brag about something like this, especially when playbooks change so frequently that it is hard to believe a true competitive advantage could be gained by having another team’s playbook?
Pettine explained in the interview with MMQB.com that he prefers to not have a thick playbook because “we know in places like New England, it’s only a matter of time that they somehow mysteriously end up with our playbook.”
Ryan is correct in what he said and for sticking up for Belichick, a long-time foe of his. Pettine needs to focus on coaching a team that realistically won’t do anything of consequence in the 2014 season.