Jets' Rex Ryan tweaks Browns' Mike Pettine with ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Rex Ryan and the Jets accepted the Patriots' challenge in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, with an assist from the Cortlandville (N.Y.) fire department.

CORTLAND, N.Y. - The Jets raised awareness for a good cause -- and managed to take a subtle jab at Browns coach Mike Pettine in the process.

With the help of the Cortlandville Fire Department on Wednesday, Rex Ryan and his players happily accepted the Patriots' "Ice Bucket Challenge," the social media phenomenon that raises awareness and money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis {ALS).

After practice, Jets players, coaches and even general manager John Idzik huddled together underneath a crane-mounted fire hose and awaited their freezing cold fate. But before the water rained down, the Jets turned to the camera and issued their own "Ice Bucket Challenge" to the following teams: Idzik called out the Mets, Yankees and his former team, the Seattle Seahawks ("They have what we want," the Jets GM said).

Ryan, meanwhile, challenged his wife, his dogs, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie -- and, of course, the Cleveland Browns.

"Let them take a play out of our playbook," Ryan said, taking a shot at Pettine, his longtime friend and former coordinator who is in his first year as head coach of the Browns.

The "PlaybookGate" drama started in June when Pettine told Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback website that the Patriots bragged about having a copy of the Jets' playbook in 2012. Pettine also insinuated that Alabama coach Nick Saban, a good friend of both Ryan's and New England coach Bill Belichick, had handed over the copy.

At the time, the allegation angered Ryan and Belichick. But on Wednesday, the Jets coach was in a far more playful mood.

Asked if he was intentionally tweaking Pettine on camera, Ryan smiled and said: "I don't think so . . . Yeah, of course I was tweaking Pettine a little bit! But all in good spirits . . . Of course, I wanted to tweak him and get him back any chance I get. I haven't had a chance to punch him in the face, so that'll be the next time."

But Ryan made it clear that his relationship with Pettine, his former coordinator from 2009-2012, is just fine. "Please. Of course," he said. "Realistically, it's going to take a lot more than something like that to drive a wedge between us. We're lifelong friends and things like that. But I had to fire back a little tweet at him for sure.

"I was just waiting my time," the Jets coach said, smiling.

Each challenge participant who dumps ice-cold water on his or her head, donates money to ALS research and then nominates three additional people to do the challenge. At first, it was either accept the challenge or donate, but lately, participants have been posting that they would donate in addition to dumping the ice water on their heads.

Jets owner Woody Johnson was the first in the organization to accept the challenge, which had been issued by Giants co-owner John Mara. The Patriots then got in on the action, posting a video of their entire team -- as well as Belichick and owner Robert Kraft -- dousing themselves with water.

"We decided we want three other teams. Our good friends in the AFC East: the Bills, the Dolphins and our good friends the New York Jets," Kraft said in a video posted to their official website.

And now, it's Pettine's turn.

But while he and his players had fun dancing in the rain, so to speak, Ryan stressed the true importance of the "Ice Bucket Challenge" by highlighting the struggles of former NFL players living with ALS.

"Any time you get issued a challenge by New England, we're going to accept that challenge," Ryan said. "I think what's kind of lost in this a little bit -- but hopefully it isn't -- is the recognition for ALS. O.J. Brigance, a young man who played with us in Baltimore, obviously [Steve] Gleason and Kevin Turner, there are several people. So hopefully that message is being sent and it's not just people doing the ice bucket, which I think is great, but recognizing ALS as well."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

NFL videos

@KMart_LI

advertisement | advertise on newsday