Last week there was a lot of buzz surrounding comments made by former Jets defensive coordinator, and current Browns head coach Mike Pettine.
Pettine said that the Patriots had possession of a Jets defensive playbook at certain points over the last few years. He even went as far as saying that head coach Rex Ryan gave them out “like candy”. Ryan and Belichick didn’t like these comments, and they went after Pettine in interviews shortly after this news broke.
Welker said that he used to joke with Jets assistant coach Mike Smith all the time about upcoming game assignments, game-plans, and things like that.
“We used to always make stuff up with each other. Tom got to know Mike as well.”
“[Mike] used to say ‘So and so will cover you in the game. No, actually we’re going to double-team you.’ So I’d make stuff up, ‘Oh, this is our game plan going into it.’ Every once in a while you [say] something true just to throw them off. And [you'd] say ‘Is that true? Would they do that?'”
Welker also said that he was unaware if the Patriots had one of Ryan’s defensive playbooks.
When this story first broke, I said that it was being blown way out of proportion, and these Welker comments shouldn’t be taken that seriously either. Having possession of a playbook in the NFL isn’t a big deal, so regardless of whether or not the Pats had a Jets playbook, it really doesn’t matter.
The Patriots have dominated the Jets over this last decade because they are simply better than them. Ryan said himself that it was disrespectful to New England to suggest that they had an advantage other than just executing on the field.
In reality, the only reason this story was talked about for so long is because this is an incredibly slow time for NFL news. Training camp begins in about a month, which will give us some legit stories to talk about.