I wasn’t sure how I would write a full 500 words about Mike Goodson being released. Thank goodness that we now have the sequel to Spygate to talk about: the New York Jets get the opportunity to be in the news for unflattering reasons once again.
It goes like this. Greg Bedard profiled new Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine for Sports Illustrated’s MMQB.com. Pettine was the Jets’ defensive coordinator from 2009 to 2012. Telling Bedard about why he keeps his playbook thin, Pettine heavily implied that the New England Patriots steal plays and playbooks: “I don’t put a lot of graduate-level information in it… We know in places like New England, it’s only a matter of time that they somehow mysteriously end up with our playbook.”
Pettine went on to explain without prompting that, at Wes Welker’s wedding in June 2012, Tom Brady bragged to a former Jet defensive coach that his Patriots “may or may not have” the Jets’ defensive playbook. “It didn’t shock me because Rex would give [playbooks] out like candy anyway,” Pettine says. “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.’ ”
Although it’s sort of depressing to think that your team’s chief rival most likely has your defensive playbook, there are a few reasons this ultimately doesn’t bother me, mainly because “Rex would give them out like candy” is pretty believable. I’m shocked but not surprised Rex could (allegedly) be so trusting, because he’s no fool – he can just be misguided sometimes. He had to know the Patriots have been caught stealing plays in the recent past, although I will not sit here and theorize that Belichick sent Saban into Florham Park as a double agent.
Furthermore, this is no Spygate. In Spygate, the Patriots had what equated to a live stream of New York’s play calls in-game. Having an opponent’s playbook may help you prepare before the game, but playbooks change constantly, and different schemes and looks are drawn up every week. The Patriots might have recognized something while it was happening or after the fact, but not before the snap.
Most importantly, the Jets still beat New England in 2013, 30-27 in Week 7, regardless of how many or few plays the Pats could predict. And in the Jets’ Week 2 loss to the Pats, it wasn’t a 30-point blowout a la 2012 or even the Spygate era. The defense did their part by only allowing 13 points.
Rex Ryan had to defuse the situation in yesterday’s press conference, of course, but nonetheless his points jive with mine. In addition to calling the accusations both “disrespectful to New England” and “ridiculous,” he said, “I can tell you every single game we’ve ever had with New England has been decided on the field.”
Former Jet Antonio Cromartie had his own input for NFL Total Access, from his new home in Arizona. “I think it’s all wanting to make up a story, because their team is not getting talked about a lot as other teams,” he said of his former defensive coordinator. Maybe Cro forgot “their team” is the team with Johnny Manziel on it, and Cleveland is getting ten times the media coverage it used to. But Pettine does seem eager to burn bridges and start new spats.
Can we get back to the field now? The Jets released running back Mike Goodson after he failed to report to minicamp Tuesday. No surprise there.
Goodson started his first and last season with the Jets with a four-game suspension for substance abuse and tore his ACL and MCL in his second game back. Goodson carried the ball seven times in his game and a half with the Jets. This offseason, the team signed free agent Chris Johnson and claimed former St. Louis RB Daryl Richardson off waivers, so Goodson’s eventual departure already seemed a foregone conclusion before he had the bright idea of skipping mandatory minicamp.
This week’s minicamp was three days long. If this is what comes of just three days, we might be in for another long season in the distraction department.