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

WATCH: Irving scores career-high 55, hits game winner

FCS star QB considering transferring to Oregon

Gronk on interest in his partying: 'I'm a baller'

Jim Harbaugh looking to flip No. 1 quarterback recruit

Colts' suspension of Richardson voids $3.1 million

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Five players replacing the biggest names in Pac-12 for 2015

Report: Broncos hire Phillips as defensive coordinator

LeBron James misses Cavs-Blazers game due to wrist injury

Iceman: Thompson’s 37-point quarter doesn't break his record

Mayweather visited Pacquiao’s hotel room for private meeting

Seahawks GM: Russell Wilson's contract 'presents challenges'

Jimbo Fisher's extension could be worth $44 million

Morris twins investigated for possible assault

Padres are bringing back the brown pinstripes

Phil Jackson's old Knicks teams used to deflate balls

David Blatt: There should be more LeBron MVP talk

Richard Sherman, girlfriend expecting son during SB week

WATCH: Marshawn, Gronk play Mortal Kombat with Conan

Armstrong: I’d use PEDs again under same circumstances

Top five free agent quarterbacks

Report: NFL investigators to consult physicist on Deflategate

5 X-factors for Super Bowl XLIX

Best prop bets about the Super Bowl broadcast

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

Blatt wants more LeBron MVP talk

Best Super Bowl ads of all-time

5 X-factors for Super Bowl XLIX

Ten worst teams to ever play in a SB

Six MLB teams going all-in on 2015

Patriots' keys to Super Bowl victory

Seahawks' keys to Super Bowl victory

DeflateGate ball could fetch $50K

Doug Baldwin ready for Revis Island

Top storylines for Super Bowl XLIX

Barnes unhappy with NBA over fine

Does MLB need more offense in the modern game?

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.