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Tomlinson: Rex pumped Jets up by saying he’d punch Belichick

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Jets coach Rex Ryan once told his team he planned to beat up Patriots coach Bill Belichick before a meeting between the two teams.

That’s the word from former Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who says that Ryan would say crazy things to pump up his team, and that one of those things included a vow to take Belichick out.

“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 going to start it off and punch him in the face,'” Tomlinson recalled on NFL Network.

Tomlinson called Ryan a “master motivator” and said he always knew exactly the right way to fire his players up.

“He was motivating his guys,” Tomlinson said. “We won. Our coach showed the confidence that he has in us.”

Ryan isn’t the first coach to use that motivational tactic. When a fight broke out between Notre Dame and Miami players before their 1988 meeting, then-Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz told his players that if another fight breaks out, “save Jimmy Johnson’s ass for me!” Ryan also might be taking after his father, former NFL coach Buddy Ryan, who also used to talk about going after opposing coaches (and once punched one of his fellow assistant coaches on the sideline during a game).

But for all of Rex Ryan’s bluster, he is by most accounts a congenial guy. It’s probably safe to say Belichick doesn’t have to worry about getting punched at midfield on Thursday night.

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90 Responses to “Tomlinson: Rex pumped Jets up by saying he’d punch Belichick”
  1. ottawabrave91 says: Sep 11, 2013 9:40 AM

    belichick doesn’t have to worry. Aaron Hernandez has his back.

  2. justintuckrule says: Sep 11, 2013 9:42 AM

    Probably would have been a cheap shot just like his father took against gilbride

  3. patriots123456 says: Sep 11, 2013 9:43 AM

    Anyone who doesn’t think the Jet’s organization is a circus needs their head examined…

  4. thegronk87 says: Sep 11, 2013 9:43 AM

    It would hurt belichick a lot more if rex were wearing those super bowl rings when he did it…

  5. harrisonhits2 says: Sep 11, 2013 9:43 AM

    Master motivator ?

    Master idiot in reality. Not a bigger buffoon or idiot anywhere among NFL coaches.

  6. afcdomination says: Sep 11, 2013 9:43 AM

    oh whatever. you telling me that was what “pumped” them up, not the fact that it was week 1, an NFL game, etc?

    I can’t wait for rex to get fired. I’ve never been so eager to see someone finally be removed, and put where they belong(defensive coordinator)

  7. bostonistitletown says: Sep 11, 2013 9:45 AM

    The only thing Rex is punching is his way through an Old Country Buffet line.

  8. denverbronconj says: Sep 11, 2013 9:47 AM

    The desire to win and compete at the highest level should be enough motivation to give it your best.

    Its sad that these little boys who make millions of dollars need someone to incite them to perform. Pathetic….

    This is why college kids should not get paid, teach them the value of determination and drive to be the best..Obviously LT never got that lesson learned

  9. wearethechampsandyourenot says: Sep 11, 2013 9:48 AM

    both of these teams are a joke.

    i just beat 1 of them in the afc championship game 9 months ago.


  10. blue18hutthutt says: Sep 11, 2013 9:48 AM

    LDT is a tool. Lots of things get said (most of it equally stupid) that should never leave the locker room

  11. honkeyt says: Sep 11, 2013 9:49 AM

    OMG! That is the same thing I tell to my co-workers to pump them up before our work day starts!!

  12. whatnojets says: Sep 11, 2013 9:52 AM

    Belichick should have punched Arron Hernandez a few times and maybe he would be still on the team instead of sitting in a jail cell.

    Sounds like a great motivational concept to me!

  13. Patskrieg dot com says: Sep 11, 2013 9:52 AM

    This is too funny. Say what you want to say about the Jets circus but from where I’m sitting Rex went up against a Patriots team that could have contended for the Super Bowl and knocked them out of the playoffs. If this is what pushed the Jets over the edge then so be it.

  14. cunninghampeetemcnabbvick says: Sep 11, 2013 9:53 AM

    Why does everybody find it hard to believe this pumped up the Jets? I absolutely believe Rex is a master motivator. He seems to be a terrible teacher and he makes poor decisions as a head coach but his teams generally give great effort, they just lack the talent.

  15. chrisk61 says: Sep 11, 2013 9:55 AM

    given wk 1 dynamics, jets definitely have a shot thurs nite. new eng barely got out alive at buff. and jets won a thriller, so they are excited. plus it is a div gm, so given familiarity of the teams and intimidation not being a factor, anything can happen.

  16. whatnojets says: Sep 11, 2013 9:55 AM

    afcdomination says:
    Sep 11, 2013 9:43 AM

    I can’t wait for rex to get fired. I’ve never been so eager to see someone finally be removed, and put where they belong(defensive coordinator)

    Wishing ill will or wanting someone to lose his job is not what a normal person does.

    May I have the name and e-mail address of your employer so that I can “request” that you be fired “on the spot”?

  17. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Sep 11, 2013 9:56 AM

    Ryans = pro wrestling.

  18. ronrivers says: Sep 11, 2013 9:57 AM

    I don’t understand why everyone dislikes this guy. He’s pretty funny and motivates his low-talent roster to perform.

    I much prefer it to coaches like Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz (I’m a Lions fan). I’d imagine Rex could actually back up some of the talk if he had half the talent on offense of the 49ers or Lions.

  19. sbaltimore says: Sep 11, 2013 9:57 AM

    I don’t know how congenial he really is. Supposedly, when one of his kids got beaten up, he went to the home of the kid who beat up his son and punched out that kid’s father.

  20. patriots123456 says: Sep 11, 2013 9:59 AM

    I think Rex was just CLOWNING around…

  21. caveman1000 says: Sep 11, 2013 9:59 AM

    Kinda lame to report on something that happened a long time ago. This week’s matchup is exciting enough without the “remember when” stuff. Belichick has a pattern of being a jerk to other coaches anyway, so it’s not like this is going to affect him anyway.

  22. indianajet says: Sep 11, 2013 10:04 AM

    I understand LT’s desire to be relevant in his retirement, but he better be a little bit more careful about what he says.

    There are certain things that get said and done away from the cameras and the reporters and only around your teammates and coaches that are supposed to stay in house, even when you eventually leave that house.

    There’s a certain code you just don’t break.

    It’s a safe bet that there are things he has said and things that he has done that he doesn’t want out there.

    If he keeps flapping his pie hole….those things just might come out.

  23. areyoudue says: Sep 11, 2013 10:04 AM

    I miss the fat, boisterous Rex…

  24. weepingjebus says: Sep 11, 2013 10:05 AM

    If Ryan tried he’d probably end up reliving that scene from Ace Ventura where he goes into the bathroom afterwards and tries to read all the championship ring prints on his forehead.

  25. floratiotime says: Sep 11, 2013 10:06 AM

    Bum fight ! We have to make this happen.

  26. kenstabler says: Sep 11, 2013 10:08 AM

    I would love to see Rex Ryan and Jim Harbaugh go knuckle to knuckle too.

  27. kaeptovernon says: Sep 11, 2013 10:08 AM

    Why is LT telling locker room secrets? RAT

  28. brokentreehousemusic says: Sep 11, 2013 10:12 AM

    Pats and Jets fans alike have to love the dynamic between Belichick and Ryan. They’re such caricatures of themselves, at polar opposite ends of the personality spectrum. It’s great.

  29. harrisonhits2 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:13 AM

    Can you imagine the comments on this thread if Belichick had said something like that ?

    There would be cries to burn him at the stake or draw and quarter him.

  30. whatnojets says: Sep 11, 2013 10:13 AM

    I just LOVE Rex!!! Straight shooting dude!

    By the way, doesn’t our “beloved” President do the same thing?? Give us your chemical weapons or we will “prick-point” some Tomahawk missiles your way!

  31. oakfolk says: Sep 11, 2013 10:13 AM

    I’m not gonna lie. That’d get me pumped too.

    “Now let’s all go there and punch these Patriots in the mouths!!”

  32. nfloracle says: Sep 11, 2013 10:13 AM

    That’s almost the perfect thing to say just before a big game to blow off some of the tension in the locker room. I don’t get all the Ryan haters, I really don’t. Ryan’s the most fun coach to watch and listen to since Jim Mora, Sr. In fact, he’s more fun because he always has something funny to say, even if two thirds of his audience doesn’t get it. The guy works on several levels, both with humor and seriousness. I love it that he’s not just spouting platitudes while saying nothing. The only guy more fun to watch with the media is Bellichick, who of course, is always a riot during his press conferences.

    Go Jets. I’m not even a Jets fan, but I’ll have Rex’s back until they cart me off to the old folk’s home.

  33. Akula says: Sep 11, 2013 10:17 AM

    Stupid is as Stupid does.

  34. mvp43 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:17 AM

    Well, at least he didn’t say he’d meet Belichick in the middle of the field and massage his feet.

  35. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Sep 11, 2013 10:22 AM

    That just sounds so stupid. How is it motivating to say something like that? Did the team really think Ryan was going to punch Belichick in the face before the game started? Weren’t they disappointed and thus demotivated when it didn’t happen?

    Also, I think Jimmy Johnson could take Lou Holtz. He must have had at least 80 pounds on him.

  36. snakeskinsoul says: Sep 11, 2013 10:26 AM

    So a tag-team match….Suh and Ryan in one corner versus Clay Matthews and Harbaugh in the other…WWE would love it

  37. bullcharger says: Sep 11, 2013 10:27 AM

    If you saw Ryan on Hard Knocks, he’s always acting like he’s a tough guy. It’s funny, and he was trying to be funny to loosen up the team and at the same time say “we have to be tough”.

    I think Belichick would probably see it the same way.

    It’s nothing offensive. LT didn’t need to mention it either, but it obviously would get press coverage which is good for LT’s new career.

  38. gooboy6 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:30 AM

    ottawabrave91 says: Sep 11, 2013 9:40 AM

    belichick doesn’t have to worry. Aaron Hernandez has his back.


    nice one Ottawa, that was funny

  39. floratiotime says: Sep 11, 2013 10:30 AM

    LT is Lawrence Taylor …

  40. flash1283 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:30 AM

    Belichick has a pattern of being a jerk to other coaches anyway, so it’s not like this is going to affect him anyway.

    No he doesn’t.

  41. stephenolszewski says: Sep 11, 2013 10:30 AM

    Not sure which would hurt more Rex Ryan’s ringless fist or Belichick’s rings punching Rex In the face

  42. sportsbastard says: Sep 11, 2013 10:34 AM

    Since Belichick was the one on the receiving end of the threat, nobody was offended.

  43. hehateme2 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:41 AM

    White trash plain and simple. A perfect fit for their fanbase.

    Lots of talk…. very little action.

  44. babyphife says: Sep 11, 2013 10:41 AM

    All this yapping from a “man” who was content lifting the greatest defensive player of our times nickname…..weak sauce

  45. richndc says: Sep 11, 2013 10:42 AM

    I don’t think what his dad did to Kevin Gilbride was a cheap shot–matter of fact, it was not a shot at all, the move I saw made would not have perforated soaking wet toilet paper, but go on, these are tough guys–maybe to some of you yankees who dont know any better. Looked to me like he was shooing away a fly with his fist instead of his open hand.

  46. bighurt228 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:48 AM

    Watching LT trying to be an expert on the NFL channel is like watching grass grow. His demenaor and voice turn me off. U mad bro bout getting your logo stamped on?? He’s a tool, and a crybaby. Anything said should have stayed in that locker room. But alas it’s the NEW. NFL !!

  47. richndc says: Sep 11, 2013 10:49 AM

    hmm, it does bring up an interesting debate–who do you think would win an all out cage match with all the coaches in the NFL? All I can think of is for sure who would not: Rex Ryan, Jim Schwartz, McCarthy, Kubiak, Shanahan, Trestman, Andy Reid, Coughlin, and Pete Carroll. It would likely be Rivera standing at the end (dont let that old dog fool ye, he will bite) or Schiano. Too bad Singletary is no longer a head coach, debate–over.

  48. alexb1234 says: Sep 11, 2013 10:53 AM

    Why is Tomlinson(he’s not the real LT) always looking to tell all the Jets secrets? Where are the Chargers secrets? Whatever happened to keeping things “in house”?

  49. howiehandles says: Sep 11, 2013 10:57 AM

    “Not a bigger buffoon or idiot anywhere among NFL coaches.”

    the defense presents Jim Harbaugh your honor.

    It was just a bunch of bs. People getting worked up about a pregame speech. Really?

  50. bcgreg says: Sep 11, 2013 11:01 AM

    So, the NYJ coaches talk about taking opponents out, and then follow through by tripping guys on the field. Hmmm.

    Rexy better be careful. Belichick is a LAX guy. He’ll take him OUT!

    And Tomlinson–not LT, there’s only ONE LT–is still mad that his Chargers lost to the Pats in the 2006 playoffs in SD. He still carries that failure around with him, which is why he thinks this would be awesome. Like Kaepernick just said. If intimidation is your game plan, you need to come up with a better one.

  51. enzo1030 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:05 AM

    Poor Rex just can’t win. It seems like every week there is something that the media feels they need to blow up so they can try to run this guy out of New York.

    Fact is, most Jets fans love Rex, who, by the way, has a winning record as a head coach. Give him a competent QB and this team would be in contention every year behind that defense of his.

    I hope Rex stays.

  52. pftfan says: Sep 11, 2013 11:05 AM

    Tomlinson is a rat. Do you see any other network talking-head like Coughlin, Keyshawn, Bradshaw, Marino, etc spilling the beans on specific things that were said in the lockerroom back when they were playing??

    Ryan can say whatever he very well pleases inside a private lockerroom to his players and coaches. That LT felt what went on in a private pep talk was open for public scrutiny is a large reason why LT left the game so unpopular amongst his peers.

  53. CKL says: Sep 11, 2013 11:06 AM

    I’m a Pats fan and this cracked me up when I heard it. It’s so RR. Why do people act like he was ever really going to punch BB? He was trying to loosen up his team, no more no less. And according to LdT,the Jets did win the game he said that before. People can slag on these two all they want but the fact is RR respects BB and vice versa. I bet BB would have laughed if he heard this too.

  54. pats2001 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:06 AM

    loved your “Football Life” episode on NFL network, fake LT. one of my greatest satisfactions as a Pats fan other than the fact that we won 3 super bowls by blatantly cheating, is the fact that we denied you your best chance of winning a super bowl the year san diego went 14-2. its comical that he called the divisional playoff win over the Pats when he was with the jets “redemption”. has there ever been a faker tough guy than him?

  55. justsomerandomguy24 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:12 AM

    As a Pats fan, I still don’t see the problem here. Rex was just joking around with his players before a game…

    Really, the only problem is why LDT would get on television and make a big deal out of a joke his old coach made.

  56. metintodd says: Sep 11, 2013 11:17 AM

    What are you talking about? Videotaping was legal, every team was doing it, not just the Pats. Goodell sent that memo about videotaping to every team in the NFL, not just the Pats, because every team was videotaping. Please don’t try and tarnish the Patriot Super Bowl wins. They were clearly a dynasty for the better part of a decade.

  57. lurkerkerker says: Sep 11, 2013 11:26 AM

    “LT = Lawrence Taylor.”

    I love how Giants’ fans need everyone to know that the greatest running back of our generation and upsatnding philanthropist of the San Diego community is not the same guy as their crack-addicted child rapist.

  58. pjflynn84 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:29 AM

    Remember when Tomlison cried in ’06 after the Pats beat them in the playoffs and how ‘offended’ he was when the Patriots did the “Lights Out Dance” after they won? Probably top 5 moment of the Patriots last decade.

    Thanks LT for being an easy target and toolbag. You should have fun with Marshall Faulk. Maybe you two can have a special about how your soft teams lost to the Patriots in the biggest games of your careers.

  59. harrisonhits2 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:30 AM

    howiehandles says:

    “Not a bigger buffoon or idiot anywhere among NFL coaches.”

    the defense presents Jim Harbaugh your honor.

    Lol ok but I think of the Harbaughs as good coaches unlike Rex. I classify the Harbaughs as whiners not buffoons.

  60. dlk47823 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:35 AM

    Ex Jet players love Rex. Ex Pat Players (see Welker) hate belicheck. Period

  61. billbelichick4life says: Sep 11, 2013 11:36 AM

    Biggest thing I take out of this non story is that LT will say or do anything to try to stay relevant on the NFL network.

  62. rahavort says: Sep 11, 2013 11:43 AM

    Ryan doesn’t have the balls. I’d be surprised if he could lift his fat arm to commit such an action

  63. scaredhitless says: Sep 11, 2013 11:44 AM

    Rex said what most of America (outside of New England) thinks.

  64. winkeroni says: Sep 11, 2013 11:46 AM

    I’m not sure how you can mention Lou Holtz’s tactics with Rex Ryan’s and not compliment Ryan on being the better coach of the NY Jets.

  65. j0esixpack says: Sep 11, 2013 11:52 AM

    This must have been one of the seasons when he “guaranteed” Sanchez would lead them to a Super Bowl victory.

  66. pats2001 says: Sep 11, 2013 11:53 AM

    dlk47823 says:
    Sep 11, 2013 11:35 AM
    Ex Jet players love Rex. Ex Pat Players (see Welker) hate belicheck. Period


    yeah, guys like willie mcginest, rodney harrison, tedy bruschi…they all hate belichick

  67. 1oldpro says: Sep 11, 2013 12:02 PM

    You can bet the Patriots will get that punch on video.

  68. gisellichek says: Sep 11, 2013 12:15 PM


    He is still pissed about a playoff loss 10 years ago… when he was with San Diego…

  69. greenlantern75 says: Sep 11, 2013 12:15 PM

    Only way Tomlinson keeps his relevancy is by giving inside scoop on the Jets…

    Can we give this guy his HOF induction and then quickly forget about him? As a Jets fan, I’ve already forgotten about him as he contributed basically nothing during his time in NY (except for the non-stop running of his mouth)…

  70. sillec28 says: Sep 11, 2013 12:28 PM

    What Rex actually said was “I’ll break both his feet.”

  71. 1historian says: Sep 11, 2013 12:40 PM

    Harrisonhits2 – your 9:43. Calling Ryan a ‘master idiot’ is good, but to me ‘Idiot Master’ sounds a bit better.

    Then we can all sit down and have a good laugh about how much good that talk did.

  72. mickmars says: Sep 11, 2013 12:45 PM

    I miss “Fat Rex”. It’s just not the same anymore.

  73. richndc says: Sep 11, 2013 1:02 PM

    richndc, you sir, are a master troll, once again, you have outdone yourself–a moment of silence and awe please, everyone, please….

  74. nomoreseasontix says: Sep 11, 2013 1:12 PM

    Belichick should just take out a knee.
    It’s a weakness most big fat guys have.

  75. patsfan13 says: Sep 11, 2013 1:16 PM

    I read somewhere that Rex Ryan say, that off the field, Coach Bill is a good guy to have a beer with.

  76. tim8450 says: Sep 11, 2013 1:20 PM

    Ha, can you imagine if Rex really did punch BB? That would be hilarious, as a pats fan, because the Jets would have been drawn and quartered.

    Enjoy the Jets Superbowl, which was playoff win against the Pats. You’ve earned it.

    Let’s face it, the reason LdT rats on the Jets is bitterness toward the organization. Otherwise, he would do the same to the Chargers. He was disloyal hired gun and couldn’t come through in the clutch.

  77. trollaikman8 says: Sep 11, 2013 1:25 PM

    If a fight broke out with Jimmy Johnson’s Hurricane, I would run for the hills….They all have machine guns and machetes.

  78. trollaikman8 says: Sep 11, 2013 1:26 PM

    Hurricane teams*

  79. granadafan says: Sep 11, 2013 1:46 PM

    This master motivator has done a *fantastic* job the last three years with all the winning seasons and multiple playoffs wins the Jets have had!

  80. bighurt228 says: Sep 11, 2013 1:49 PM

    Get ready for Thursday nights premiere of BUTTFUMBLE II. LMAO. HILARIOUS STILL

  81. bighurt228 says: Sep 11, 2013 1:55 PM

    He should warn Bill first……….so he can put on his 5 Super Bowl rings and punch him back.!!!!

  82. hartleechung says: Sep 11, 2013 2:01 PM

    I’d be more worried if he said he was “gonna punch him in the feet!”.

  83. bullcharger says: Sep 11, 2013 2:11 PM

    floratiotime says:Sep 11, 2013 10:30 AM

    LT is Lawrence Taylor …


    True enough, but Tomlinson is a much better representative of that moniker. Taylor maybe the top defensive player of all time, but he is not a good person.

  84. harrisonhits2 says: Sep 11, 2013 2:19 PM

    dlk47823 says:

    Ex Jet players love Rex. Ex Pat Players (see Welker) hate belicheck. Period

    Tom Jackson is that you posting on PFT ?

  85. hotwings4u says: Sep 11, 2013 2:36 PM

    Eat a snickers… get a little goofy coach

  86. bensstinkyfingers says: Sep 11, 2013 2:42 PM

    Rex may be on to something here. I propose to roger Goodell, to do away with the coin toss, let the head coaches meet in the center of the field before kickoff to duke it out to determine first possession. Talk about getting the fans and players fired up before the game!

  87. gzinn18631 says: Sep 11, 2013 2:50 PM

    According to other articles on this subject, Tomlinson was quoted as saying Rex was joking. Tomlinson was laughing when he told this story. I am not a Jets fan and nowhere near a Ryan fan.

  88. stabbymike says: Sep 11, 2013 2:52 PM

    Rex Ryan is a terrible head coach. should never have any sort of control over a team, but he does seem to pump up hi players. Ive noticed his players enjoy playing for him so i can understand him being a master motivator. maybe for them to start winning he just needs to get fat again.

  89. bigredgoog says: Sep 11, 2013 3:12 PM

    I expected to hate Tomlinson when he started his T.V./Radio commentaries but he has been refreshing. He seems insightful and genuine. It feels like off the cuff opinions instead of robotic ones practiced in advance.

    I watched him tell the Ryan story live and it was a fun anecdote not done with animus toward the Jets. I took it that Rex was just being funny but in a way that all his players still watched the greeting between the two just in case he was serious. Good fun.

    I was also kind of impressed with Michael Robinson who debuted last night. Well spoken and interesting.

  90. noring4youstill says: Sep 11, 2013 8:14 PM

    And I bet LT cried. Because that is just classless

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