Shots fired! Did Browns coach accuse Patriots of stealing playbooks?
Mike Pettine hasn't been the head coach of the Cleveland Browns for very long, but he's already making waves with his mouth.
Pettine, interviewed in a profile for Monday Morning Quarterback, was talking about how he prefers to keep his initial playbooks simple. Then, he said this:
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.'"
Wow. Everyone knows about Belichick and the Patriots' history when it comes to the Jets -- Spygate, anyone? -- but this takes it up another notch. It's one thing to tape signals, it's another to actually get copies of a playbook.
So, what does The Hoodie have to say about Pettine's comments? One reporter asked the question:
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
So be it. What's more, it doesn't seem that Rex Ryan is too thrilled with his former defensive coordinator at the moment.
"It's in a bad spot right now," Ryan said of his relationship with Pettine.— Jane McManus (@janesports) June 19, 2014
But what about Nick Saban? The supposed middle man in this scenario? Here is what he had to say:
Alabama coach Nick Saban says he never gave copy of Jets playbook to Patriots and never would, per Alabama spokesman.— Kevin Armstrong (@KevinGArmstrong) June 19, 2014
Alabama staffer says the playbook Rex Ryan gave to Saban is currently sitting in Saban's office in Tuscaloosa.— Kevin Armstrong (@KevinGArmstrong) June 19, 2014
Pettine might want to be careful about burning bridges. The NFL is a small community and people remember.