Sunday Scoopage: Hidden intrigue behind Patriots-Jets

BY foxsports • September 20, 2009

It wasn't the trash talk that helped the Jets beat the Pats Sunday.

It was the chalk talk.

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Sure, the Jets talked tons of smack going into their battle vs. New England, and who doesn't love a good ol' fashioned, violent, trash-talking rivalry?

But take the trash out of the equation for a minute. The real dirty work was done with some behind-the-scenes intrigue on the part of the Jets and head coach Rex Ryan.

This week Ryan used former Patriots QB and Tom Brady understudy Kevin O'Connell to prepare for the Pats. Team sources told that Ryan took O'Connell and pretty much passed him around from coach to coach this week to give a group-by-group tutorial of New England's tendencies.

In fact, he was so helpful that Ryan named O'Connell team captain for today's game. That's right, a No. 3 QB as team captain.

And the Jets showed how good they can be with a little captain in 'em.

"It was just another shot across their bow," said one team source of why Ryan made the surprising move.

Sources said while the former Patriot QB was revealing in helping with tendencies of different players and schemes, he was most helpful in revealing the tendencies the Patriots use to adjust against different blitz packages the Jets will try to employ. Basically, he's able to say, "Hey, when you use this blitz they like to check it over here. When you use that blitz their tendency will be to use this guy, here."

In addition to the strategic assist, O'Connell also revealed something else that Ryan could sink his teeth into for motivational purposes. Brady's former backup informed the Jets coach that New England began intently breaking down and studying Ryan's defense all the way back to March.

Players say Ryan used this info to deliver this message: "You don't think they aren't worried about us? They're definitely thinking about us!"