On Sunday, the Jets escaped a game against the rival New England Patriots thanks to a controversial penalty on a deep Jets FG attempt in overtime. Now that the dust has settled, more information is coming out about the play and the hustle and bustle around it.
According to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, the Jets coaching staff was already aware of New England’s past use of an illegal pushing penalty and it looks like they made sure the referees were aware of it too.
While he wouldn’t answer directly about whether he was aware the Patriots had used it once the previous week against the Saints, Jets HC Rex Ryan said, “The coaches watch every single play of every single game, so we’re aware of the opponents’ tendencies and everything else.”
More or less, what he’s saying is… he knew what was going to happen. Still, he refused to comment on whether or not he had actually tipped off the officiating crew.
In case you aren’t aware of what the rule (new this year) is:
Rule 9, Section 1, Article 3: ”Team B players cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation.”
Patriots HC Bill Belichick was asked whether or not he was bothered by the idea that the Jets may have tipped off refs about the newly illegal maneuver, and he responded in a very Belichick-like way.
“Well, I mean, since they were using the play themselves I don’t even know about all that. But basically we’re just moving on here,” he said.
Belichick was likely referring to Stephen Gostkowski’s 44-yard field goal at the end of the fourth quarter in which Jets DE Quinton Coples appears to be pushing fellow DE Muhammad Wilkerson.
The Jets have contacted the league about New England’s tactics before. Before last season’s game in New England, they wanted the game officials to be aware of possible illegal substituting by the Patriots while using their hurry-up offense.
To me, the question is less about whether or not it’s right or wrong that the Jets are aware of penalties that New England commits often as to their motives. It’s easy for the Jets to say that they were just looking out for the safety of their players, but everyone knows about the proverbial chess match between Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick that goes on every time the two teams play.
What do you think?
Was it a dirty move for the Jets to tip the refs off?
Does the push penalty make sense?
Did the Jets steal one!?
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