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.

90 responses to “Tomlinson: Rex pumped Jets up by saying he’d punch Belichick

  1. 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)

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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”?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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 !!

  22. 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.

  23. 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”?

  24. “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?

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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?

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. “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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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

  37. Please … consider the source… LT HATES AND I MEAN HATES THE PATRIOTS AND BELICHECK.

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

  38. 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)…

  39. 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.

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

  41. 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.

  42. 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!

  43. 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.

  44. dlk47823 says:

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

    Tom Jackson is that you posting on PFT ?

  45. 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!

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

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