There’s a good chance Bill Belichick got his hands on the Jets’ defensive secrets, according to new Browns head coach Mike Pettine.
Pettine, the Jets defensive coordinator from 2009-2012, hinted in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s MMQB that the Patriots head coach likely obtained the Jets’ playbook from Alabama coach Nick Saban.
Pettine said during Wes Welker’s 2012 wedding, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had bragged to former Jets assistant Mike Smith – and Welker’s college roommate at Texas Tech – that New England ‘may or may not have had possession of a couple Jets defensive playbooks,’ Peter King wrote.
“It didn't shock me because Rex (Ryan) would give them out like candy anyway,” Pettine said in the interview. “He gave one out to Saban and I was like, ‘Don’t you know Saban and Bill are pretty good friends? I have a feeling it's going to end up in New England.’”
Coincidentally, Saban was Belichick’s defensive coordinator with the Browns from 1991-94.
Added Pettine: “We know in places like New England, it's only a matter of time that they somehow mysteriously end up with our playbook.”
In 2007, Belichick was fined the NFL maximum of $500,000 and the Patriots were ordered to pay $250,000 for spying on the Jets’ defensive signals from the sidelines during New England’s 38-14 victory.
Ryan won’t address the media until Thursday afternoon, following the team’s final mandatory minicamp practice.