The Patriots-Jets rivalry has produced many memorable moments over the years. This one would’ve taken the cake.
Ahead of this season’s first installment of the rivalry, former Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson reflected back on some of his favorite memories during NFL Network’s NFL Total Access on Tuesday, including one that never happened.
Tomlinson recalled a pregame speech from Rex Ryan before one of the divisional showdowns, where the fiery head coach riled up his team by saying he was going to punch Bill Belichick in the face before kickoff.
“We were playing the Patriots one time, and as I mentioned, Rex is a master motivator,” Tomlinson said. “It was going to be a big game, a heated rivalry game, and Rex got in front of us, he said, ‘I’m going to set the tempo today, guys,’ he said, ‘I’m going to set the tempo when I meet Bill Belichick in the center of the field, I’m gonna start it off and punch him in the face.’ I loved it.”
Unfortunately for all of us, Ryan didn’t follow through on his claim and the two never came to blows — as much as both might wish they would at times. Maybe he’ll change his mind and finally deliver on his promise when the Jets visit Foxboro on Thursday night.