New Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine sat down for a lengthy interview with Peter King this week, and one nugget of information shared might be of interest to New England Patriots fans.
Pettine, who previously worked as Rex Ryan’s defensive coordinator with the New York Jets, told themmqb.com that a few copies of the Jets’ defensive playbook “may or may not” have fallen into the hands of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
Pettine told King that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had allegedly been bragging about this fact to Jets outside linebackers coach Mike Smith at former teammate Wes Welker’s wedding in 2012. Smith and Welker were roommates during their time at Texas Tech.
“It didn’t shock me because Rex would give them out like candy anyway,” Pettine said. “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.’”
Pettine did say, though, that the physical playbook is rather thin for this very reason.
“I don’t put a lot of graduate-level information in it,” he said. “We know in places like New England, it’s only a matter of time that they somehow mysteriously end up with our playbook.”
UPDATE (1:30 p.m.): Here’s the response Belichick gave to reporters Thursday afternoon:
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UPDATE (3:55 p.m.): And Ryan’s:
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Thanks to ESPN.com‘s Rich Cimini for bringing this to our attention.