FOXBOROUGH — Jets coach Rex Ryan fired back at Patriots counterpart Bill Belichick on Wednesday, disputing Belichick’s claim that the Jets also used the illegal push technique on a field goal attempt, the same play that drew a key flag on the Patriots in overtime on Sunday.
The penalty, which was called against rookie defensive tackle Chris Jones for pushing a teammate into the Jets’ line, wiped out a 56-yard missed field goal by Nick Folk and gave the Jets 15 yards and an automatic first down. Folk subsequently connected from 42 yards, giving the Jets a 30-27 overtime win and ending their five-game losing streak to the Patriots.
During a Tuesday teleconference, Belichick was asked about the report that Jets coaches had tipped off the officials regarding the Patriots using the push play, something they reportedly had noticed from the Patriots-Saints game film the week before.
“Well, I mean, since they were using the play themselves I don’t even know about all that,” Belichick said.
Informed of Belichick’s comments and asked for his reaction after Wednesday’s Jets practice, Ryan began by shaking his head as the question was still being asked.
“That’s not true, that’s not true. He’s got to make up his mind: Was he aware of this thing, was it second level, all this kind of jazz?” Ryan said. “Or now, what the story is, we did it. OK, I got you.”
After the game, Belichick, when asked about the penalty, said, “We weren’t on the second level when we pushed him. You can’t push from the second level, but I don’t think we did that.”
On Monday, Belichick took responsibility for not properly understanding the rule for which Jones was penalized, which is a new rule for 2013. Sunday was the first time it had been called in any game.
“Look, it’s our job to understand the rules. Whatever the bottom line is, we didn’t do it properly,” Belichick said. “What else is there to say?”
Usually plenty, when it comes to almost anything between the Jets and Patriots.
Ryan seemed to take delight in his team beating the Patriots in the manner it did. But he said it’s time to turn the page.
“Fact is, we’re moving on,” he said. “We earned that victory, plain and simple, and we’re focused on Cincinnati now.”