Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/15/14

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 19: Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets throws passes before the game against the New England Patriots on September 19, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick are supposed to be archenemies. They’re not supposed to exchange Christmas cards, compliment one another on their interesting clothing choices or even swap pleasantries, at least as far as Patriots and/or Jets fans are concerned. But on Tuesday, Ryan broke that code. The Jets head coach actually backed up Belichick on his decision to play Rob Gronkowski on an extra point late in the game, that same play when Gronkowski broke his left forearm and could cause him to miss anywhere from four to eight weeks. Ryan went as far as to call the criticism of Belichick’s decision “absolutely ridiculous” before further defending his rival. “[Gronkowski] is on an extra point. He’s probably done it 100 times this year for the simple fact that’s how many points they score,” Ryan said. “You never see that. Every single team in the league [does it]. We have D’Brickashaw Ferguson there.” Belichick’s decisions sparked a pretty polarizing debate on the issue, with some even questioning the intelligence of the man many call “genius.” But Ryan understands as well as anyone how easily a player can suffer that sort of freak injury, and believes Belichick wasn’t wrong in his decision. “You don’t play the game that way and it’s just an unfortunate thing,” Ryan said. “That’s just a freak deal that that would happen. But unfortunately that’s part of the game. Injuries do happen. We lose [Santonio] Holmes and [Darrelle] Revis to non-contact injuries and it’s just one of those things and it’s unfortunate, obviously.” Belichick responded to Ryan’s support with some reflections on his long and “good” relationship with the Jets head coach, but he still wouldn’t comment specifically on the injury or Ryan’s thoughts on Gronkowski. While these two teams may have a deeply rooted hatred for one another — and those emotions will spill over onto the field on Thursday night — Ryan and Belichick obviously also have a strong respect for one another. And exchanges like this only serve to spread that sentiment even further. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Beltre sends Richards invoice for three broken bats

Herschel Walker: Vikings should trade Adrian Peterson

Report: Raiders fielding calls about fourth overall pick

WATCH: UAB football player brings helmet to graduation

Andrew Luck to students: 'I'm only 25, I don't have advice'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mark Sanchez: Tebow is another arm while Bradford recovers

Report: Former LSU CB Jalen Collins failed multiple drug tests

Six players suspended for White Sox-Royals brawl

Stephen A. Smith blasts Brady for missing White House visit

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Report: Angels, Rangers talking Josh Hamilton trade

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

WATCH: Bucks mascot devours fan

Protestors tried to have Orioles-Red Sox game called off

Greg Hardy abandons his Bentley during flash flood

WATCH: LeBron James hits full-court shot after practice

Peyton Manning announces $3 million gift to Tennessee

WATCH: Leah Still scores TD in Temple spring game

WATCH: Todd Gurley shares video of himself sprinting

5 most boring NFL prime time matchups for 2015

Steve Carell, Emma Stone to star in Bobby Riggs-Billie Jean King film

Calipari’s new project: Create virtual reality experience for fans

Maurice Jones-Drew will retire with the Jaguars on Tuesday

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Sanchez shares thoughts on Tebow

Stephen A. Smith blasts Tom Brady

Kris Humphries apologizes for Jenner tweet

5 boring NFL prime time matchups

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: Perception vs. reality

Report: Gronk dating former Patriots cheerleader

NFL exec compares Jameis Winson to JaMarcus Russell

NFL does not care about Rams' future in St. Louis

Nothing gleams like late-round draft gold

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.