Mike Pettine: Tom Brady bragged to former Jets assistant that Pats had Jets playbook

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As we’ve seen on every season of Hard Knocks, players who are cut from teams are asked to relinquish their playbooks before leaving the facility for the final time.

According to Browns coach Mike Pettine, that doesn’t stop the information from falling into the hands of other teams. Pettine told Greg Bedard of TheMMQB.com that he intentionally keeps his playbooks on the slimmer side — there isn’t “a lot of graduate-level information in it” — because he knows they find their way to “places like New England.”

Pettine isn’t just referencing Spygate. He told Bedard that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady bragged to former Jets assistant (and Wes Welker’s college roomate) Mike Smith at Welker’s wedding that the team “may or may not have had possession” of a couple of the Jets’ defensive playbooks.

“It didn’t shock me because Rex 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.”

How much more help the general playbook, as opposed to specific game plans, would be on top of watching film of what teams do over the course of the season is hard to know. That said, it’s understandable why Pettine and other coaches would rather keep as much information in-house as they possibly can.

91 responses to “Mike Pettine: Tom Brady bragged to former Jets assistant that Pats had Jets playbook

  1. Even if Belichick does have Jets playbooks, that doesn’t help him win Super Bowls. He hasn’t won one since Spygate…

  2. That seems typical of Belichick and I would certainly not put it past him. It also seems typical of Ryan to let that stuff get out there.

  3. So the Jet’s head coach is stupid enough to “give out playbooks like candy” – one invariably makes it to a division rival (or more likely “rivals”)…

    … and the Patriots will probably be the ones lambasted as “cheaters”

    We’ve got news for you Wrecks…. one doesn’t need a playbook to defend against the Butt Fumble

  4. This headline is misleading. If any of this is true Rex Ryan is the dumb one here.

    And I wouldn’t be surprised if Pettine had a copy while at Buffalo.

  5. Who doesn’t? It’s basically a bunch of crayon scribbles on the back of a Denny’s menu.

  6. How much does it matter? every team pretty much runs at least the same nickel/dime defense the largest percentage of games anyway. it’s either man/blitz/zone.

  7. Pettine learned well from the master of trash-talk, Rexy himself. He can keep telling himself – and insinuate to everyone else – that that’s why Brady could beat his defenses, but the Jets just haven’t been that good on either side of the ball.

  8. Why is it always the jets bitching? They always talk bad about somebody but never back up anything. The pats don’t need a play book to beat the jets. Frankly 7 other teams agree every year

  9. It is about execution. If I told you that my game plan was to have Lawrence Taylor sack your QB on every pass, you would still have to stop him.

  10. You know, if your opponent is stupid enough to give his playbook out “like candy”, they kinda deserve what they get.

  11. And yet Brady is still seen whining and crying and throwing a tantrum to the refs every time he plays the Jets, he still has problems with Rex’s defense even with his playbook and Belicheat stealing signals.

    The patriots franchise is complete trash from top to bottom.

  12. Jets game plan: Have Revis shut down your best WR.

    I don’t think it was much of a secret.

  13. Did anybody REALLY think Spygate was the only cheating going on in New England?

    That’s just what he got caught doing.

    BB will experience a Lance Armstrong-esque fall from grace once the truth gets exposed.

  14. When Pettine was with the Jets, it was always speculated that he was the source of any bad leaks of information to the media. Well, it seems pretty obvious that he’s still leaking info. It was always assumed that Pettine and Ryan were friends when he was with the Jets, but given what has been said since he left, I would think otherwise. I guess he still just can’t keep his mouth shut.

  15. Lol so Rex Ryan hands out playbooks to everyone including the janitors and if those playbooks make their way to other teams, it’s the other team’s fault for looking at them? There’s a reason you collect those playbooks and make sure you know exactly how many you have and where they are.

    Everyone trashing the Patriots here would be thrilled if a playbook from a division rival fell into their team’s hands. And this is in no way cheating. The Jets have only themselves to blame if this is true

  16. Part of what makes Belichick such a good coach is the fact that he’s willing to cheat to win.

    Just look at his injury reports for the past decade. Nearly everyone on the injury report is almost always listed as questionable. You rarely, if ever, see that from other teams.

    Most other teams actually list probable players as probable. But with Belichick, a questionable player could be playing this week or could be held out for another 5 weeks.

    It’s hard to blame him though; this can serve as a great advantage to him. Just like videotaping another team’s practices or having their entire defensive playbook.

  17. Wouldn’t that mean that the Pats had the Bills playbook since he Pettine stole his from Rex. Guess that’s why the Bills couldn’t beat the Pats…

  18. so let me get this straight, despite the fact that bellichick has tom brady and may have had copies of the jets playbook, he still only managed to go 7-4 (0-1 in playoffs) vs rex? not to mention rex had a rook qb in 4 of those games.

    i guess bill really is as overrated as i think he is.


    calling rex ryan “wrecks” might be the lamest insult of all time. really clever bro!

  19. That’s okay we’ll let blowhard Bob Kraft make critical league decisions, sweep Spygate evidence under the rug, slap the Pats on the wrist, and have the Hoodie redesign all league rules. Karma has been a crazy thing since Spygate… #you reap what you sow

  20. I agree rex shouldn’t have handed out so many playbooks. A true sportsmen would not need or want to look at another teams playbook. Then again, we all know Bill doesn’t like to play fair.

  21. I’d argue that if you’re more worried about stopping at staples to steal your playbook than you are with making the team you probably aren’t gonna be on the team long enough to steal it anyway.

    That said…I think this is more a knock on Rex from Pettine. If Rex is handing out playbooks “like candy” who can fault the people who have them for looking at them and sharing?

  22. Nothing new here…….move on. This has been going on for years with this franchise. Brady wouldn’t start on any other team in the NFL except the Patriots. Matt Cassell was All Pro when he played their. Cassell is like 2nd or 3rd string now, same as Brady if he wasn’t with the Patriots.

  23. That wasn’t the playbook, it was just the menu for Mario’s Pizza and Steaks

  24. I always wondered if Brady was in on the cheating or merely unknowingly benefitting from it. Guess we have our answer.

  25. Tom Brady hasn’t won a Super Bowl since Spygate. If they don’t win another Super Bowl with Brady, with Belichick, their three Super Bowls that they did win are going to be tainted. It’s going to be like Barry Bonds. You’re going to look at those three Super Bowls with an asterisk because of Spygate.

    If you know what somebody’s defensive signals and calls are before you line up on the field because you filmed their walkthroughs, and you practice with those signals, that’s cheating. There’s no other way to slice it.

    Before Spygate, Belichick’s Patriots were 12-2 in the playoffs and 3-0 in the Super Bowl. Since the illegal taping scheme was revealed, they are 6-6 in the postseason and 0-2 in the Super Bowl.

    Without the aid of being able to film walkthroughs and illegally taping defensive schemes, they’ve been a very average postseason ball club. Coincidence? I think not.

  26. Why the Jets come on Belichick if you’re going to cheat be smart about it, i mean that’s like Saban saying he stole Kentucky playbook

  27. It’s not cheating if he didn’t steal it. But I do love how Belichick is in everyone’s head now (competitive advantage-Belichick)

  28. A kid gets caught copying another kid’s homework, he cheated. That’s a fact. The Patriots were looking at other teams’ homework, and they got caught. They cheated. Their accomplishments are tainted.

    The Patriots post-season winning percentage during the Spygate-era: about 90%

    The Patriots post-season winning percentage after the Spygate-era: about 50%

    Coincidence? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the obvious here.

    The Patriots have won 0 championships without the aid of cheating!

  29. Love the ‘karma’ comments about the Pats, who have been a dominant force in the league for more than a decade.

    Conversely, I wonder what the Jets did to piss off the football gods so badly.

  30. Tom Brady is the second best QB of all time (behind Peyton), Bill Belichick is the greatest coach of all time, and the Patriots are everything that the fans of at least 20 teams wish their team was. Deal with it.
    – Signed a Dolphins fan

  31. Eric Mangini probably took a copy of the Patriots playbook when he left the Patriots and joined the Jets as their head coach.

    With coordinators leaving teams and becoming head coaches, there are probably multiple copies of teams playbooks with other teams. What are the odds that they would draw up a completely new playbook from scratch from memory.

    Add to that, with players leaving teams and who may or may not take a copy of the playbook with them. At least they pick their brains of what they know about their former team. Jets have picked up former Patriots, Jermaine Cunningham and Ras-I Dowling.

    If you ask players how they study an opponent, they say they study film of games their opponents have played. Has there ever been a player that said they studied an opponents playbook before a game against them? Why study a playbook when you can watch film and see a visual representation of the plays they run anyway.

  32. Like a player couldn’t just use the camera on his cell phone to take pics of the playbook before he left. Hello it’s 2014.

  33. Rex must have left his play book at the Ground Round, where belichick sometimes goes to recruit free agents. Apparently the play book had ketchup stains

  34. .
    In summation, a Patriots player told a friend of the Brown’s coach that the Patriots “may or may not” have a Jets playbook.

    I’d vote guilty if I knew what the charge was.


  36. Crayon scribbles on a Denny’s menu… To the poster who said that – Congrats. You win the internet for the day! Hilarious

  37. I love this. I suspect Brady knows that Belichick is in Ryan’s head, so Tom decided to play some headgames of his own. Even though a lawyer would call this triple hearsay (Brady told Smith who told Pettine who told Bedard), and the statement is neither true nor false (he “may or may not have had possession…), it will simply distract Pettine and/or Ryan) and his staff from focusing on the important issues. In fact, that is apparently happening now. So if Tom’s intent was to play some head games, and get another team’s coach riled up about nothing, he succeeded.

  38. People equate having another teams playbook with cheating? How slow are you people? The whole object of the game is to figure out what the other team is doing. If the Pats got their hands on a playbook good for them. All teams should be trying to get an edge.

  39. I’ll never understand how Brady and Belichick have survived this long. Why hasn’t someone just late hit Brady until he’s out for the year? Pull a Charles Martin, whatever it takes. For a guy with 3 SB rings, records, etc., it really seems that he needs to resort to cheating to achieve any sort of success. As for Belichick, why don’t a few opposing players just stomp him out at midfield before or after the game. That would end his nonsense.

  40. Who cares about the pats or the jets. Mike pettine, the pride of cb west and north penn high schools, is about to turn the cleveland browns into sb champs. Get on the train people.

  41. Breaking into another teams facility to steal their playbook = cheating

    Looking at a playbook that comes to you from a friend, when the person giving the playbook to that friend was WARNED that it would be shared = not cheating

    It is the difference between setting up a camera to watch the film of another team’s practice, and watching film of another team’s practice because they left it in the projector.

  42. Like the Patriots need a playbook to know that 80 percent of Jets offensive plays are runs?

    Pettine, who built the Bills to beat the Dolphins not the Patriots (stupid move, Pettine! Your mother coulda sacked Tannehill behind that God-awful OL last year!), is just pulling another dog-and-pony show to rile up Jets fans. Yep, he’s a student of Rexy all right!

  43. How is this “cheating” if a head coach is stupid enough to give away his playbook?

    I’m loving watching jetsarestacked and other Jets fans act like their coach is a genius and the Patriots are stupid or cheaters for looking at what Wrecks is stupid enough to give them.

    Wrecks: “Hey Bill – here’s our plays for the next game… Watch out – if you listen, my fans will call you a cheater!”

    The Jets and Jets fans deserve this guy as their head coach – I hope he exceeds 8-8 and gets long term extension!

  44. “Page 105 of the 2007 NFL Game Operations Manual states, “No video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches’ booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game…All video shooting locations must be enclosed on all sides with a roof overhead.”

    If the Pats had a green vest on, and were on the sidelines there would have been no fine.

    Also, it is not against the rules to have possession of a playbook from another team.

    The only way it is illegal would be if someone broke in and stole them.

  45. I have a suggestion for all the people who are yelling why dont all of you guys pool your money and file a lawsuit based on the statements of Bills ex coach and see what the legal system of this country thinks about these.

    There is a reason why the courts in this country require something some of you might have heard about.Its called Evidence.

  46. I loved the statement of one of Bills fan that of Patriots have the playbook then he will ask for refund.

    How Many Coaches have you had in last 10 years and if they all use the same playbook..You know who is Smart here?

  47. The Jets just love to pile on their Big Brother that beats them up every day after recess and steals their lunch money. Try as they might, the Jets will never be able to beat their Big Brother no matter what stupid tactics they might try. Maybe the Patriots should try tripping players like the Jets did.

  48. Wow……cant beat the jets last time they played even when they had thier playbook. But then again pats don’t usually get phamtom calls on the road like at home.

  49. I’m stealing from a post on a patriots board,
    “This story is getting some legs, apparently NFL Security raided the Brady home this morning and caught his son Ben playing with it. According to league sources the play book was easily identifiable because it is the only pop up play book in existence, and Brady apparently admitted to league officials tha his son had mastered it in under twenty minutes.

    So long 2015 first rounder……”

  50. Having the Jets playbook is a non issue here. Most teams playbooks overlap anyway. Plus if you watch tape you’ll know what plays are in a playbook. Now game planning, that’s a huge advantage if an opponent was to have that. Que the last Jet/Pat game when it might as well been on the big screen the Jets were going to run the ball but the Pats could not stop Chris Ivory.

    The real issue here is what a POS Pettine must be to throw Rex under the bus. Rex was nothing but a great friend and mentor to him. That’s the really sad part of this story.

  51. you mean Mike “the big leak” Pettine? shows his lackk of character again and again and all Rex has done is praise him even though all he does is try to hurt Rex

  52. Why is it that Bill Belichick never gets asked if he received the Jets Defensive playbook or how he got it? Because we all know that when his lips move, he is lying.
    Why is it that Belichick’s best buddy just happens to be, Nick Saban, a coach who distinguished himself with an exit after assuring the media he would stay with the Dolphins?

  53. Patriot players or fans do not care what it takes to get a victory.

    If we could find a way to get Hernandez back on the field we would do it.

    Brady has been to 5 super bowls and won 3 and also had a 16-0 season.

    He have also been to a few AFC championship games which we did not win.

    We also came from 24 points down against Denver last year.

    Most people don’t remember how bad the pats were for years. For the last 14 years it’s been great to be a die hard pats fan.

    It’s been great to see the pats on espn every 15 minutes.

    It’s been great to see unrealistic come back wins and just as great to see teams get crushed.

    Call the pats any names you want but it won’t take back the happiness of these last 14 years.

  54. NEATZ: So belichick is a genius because he manipulates friends into stealing info for him? AND THAT ISNT CHEATING? Why don’t all coaches just start trying to plant spies in other teams just to steal playbooks. Saban is a weasel too. Lets just have teams exchange playbooks at mid field before the game starts. If thats not cheating you are a moron. The bottom line is Billy and Tommy have done ZEROOOO without cheating.
    Most coaches, I.E. Doug Marrone, have a work ethic and integrity that wouldnt even allow them to consider stealing another teams playbook as a thought. They work hard, put in the time, and leave it on the field. Belichick is a whining complaining snake who will sell out at any costs for the W. Your opinion that getting a hold of another teams playbook is a strategy is a complete travesty and creates a 100% unfair playing field.

  55. Any coach, player, former coach, assistant coach, etc that gives up playbook info should be permanently banned from the league. Sure its easy with today’s technology to take a picture and send it on, but its just as easy to subpoena phone records and find the evidence that it was done. Zero tolerance on this. Its not a strategy, its cheating and taking the easy way out. No fan wants to see a game like that either. NFL needs to put an end to this ASAP.

  56. “Did anybody REALLY think Spygate was the only cheating going on in New England? That’s just what he got caught doing. BB will experience a Lance Armstrong-esque fall from grace once the truth gets exposed.”

    If you BB-haters only knew how pathetic you appear to the rest of the league’s fans, then you’d die of embarrassment.

    NONE of the stuff to which you object is unique to New England, or to Bill. However, as in all things which he does, I would be willing to bet that no one goes about it more thoroughly than he.

    If loose lips sink ships, then Bill will at least consider stapling the lips of his coaches and players closed, when they leave practice. If everybody steals signals–and they do–then Bill will tape them, pay his fine when he gets caught, and weigh the risk of a 2nd offense, before deciding whether or not to take the risk.

    Those of you who react to such revelations have quite obviously neither played the game seriously nor listened to anyone who has done so. People bitch about what Suh did to EDS. What silly geese fail to ask themselves is what EDS might have done to get Suh to lose his cool. The guy already had a pretty dirty rep for what he supposedly did while in a pile. The context into which to place that is that ALL offensive linemen do illegal isht in the pile; every last one of them. Just as water polo players grab the other fellow’s junk, when said other guy jumps to make a pass or shot on goal. That’s sports.

    Got a problem with it? Just the wives in the den, then.

  57. jacksprat–that is the mentality that is unethical and means you are nothing but cheater who will do anything to win dishonestly.

    You want to take football and make it into a joke like they did wrestling then go for it but leave the legit sports alone.

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