Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine has cast new suspicions of foul play on the Patriots in comments he made in a Sports Illustrated story published Thursday.
Pettine, formerly the Jets defensive coordinator, suggested the Patriots may have acquired a Jets defensive playbook as he was explaining the reason his playbook begins as a scaled-down document.
“I don’t put a lot of graduate-level information in it,” Pettine told Greg Bedard in a story on mmqb.com. “We know in places like New England, it’s only a matter of time that they somehow mysteriously end up with our playbook.”
Pettine also said he heard a story about Tom Brady mentioning the possibility that New England acquired a Jets playbook to Jets outside linebackers coach Mike Smith at the wedding of former Patriots receiver Wes Welker.
“It didn’t shock me because Rex [Ryan, Jets coach] 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.’ ”
Belichick was asked Thursday after the Patriots completed their minicamp if he’d ever had a Jets playbook.
“You’ve got to talk to Mike Pettine. I don’t know,” he said.
Ryan was also asked about the story on Thursday, and was angry about it.
“I don’t understand what he’s trying to gain by it,” Ryan said. “Everyone needs to talk to Mike Pettine, because he’s got all the answers.”
Ryan said his relationship with Pettine was “in a bad spot now.” He also said the Patriots did not have any advantage over the Jets in their games because the Jets’ playbook changes frequently.
“[Pettine] needs to learn to be quiet,” Ryan said.Ben Volin of the Globe contributed to this report. Follow Matt Pepin on Twitter at @mattpep15.