Patriots coach Bill Belichick is a smart guy, and knows how to casually plant a seed in the media.
In a very subtle jab (very un-Rex Ryan of him to be subtle), Belichick pointed out that the Jets used the same illegal field-goal push that the Patriots were penalized for in overtime. The Jets got no penalty for what looked like a similar shove. The Jets used the 15-yard penalty from the Patriots' illegal field-goal push to get closer and kick the game-winner.
Belichick was asked about the reports that the Jets had seen the Patriots do the illegal push against the Saints and told the officials to watch for it.
"Well, I mean, since they were using the play themselves I don’t even know about all that," Belichick said on a conference call with Dolphins reporters, according to the team's transcript. "But basically we’re just moving on here."
Ah yes Bill, just moving on. But not before pointing out that the Jets cheated too, on something they told the officials to look for from the Patriots.
Belichick was referring to Stephen Gostkowski's 44-yard field goal attempt that tied the game late in regulation. It does appear Quinton Coples pushes Jets teammate Muhammad Wilkerson through the line. (It happens between the right guard and the snapper, here's a look):
Perhaps not as egregious as Chris Jones' penalized push in overtime that led to the Jets' win, but still a penalty. Especially considering the officials had been tipped off before the game to look for such a play.
The New York Post said Coples laughed about Belichick's comments.
“I don’t want to go into a back-and-forth argument or whatever, but Ben [Kotwica], who is our special teams coach, does a tremendous job of educating us as far as the rules change from year to year, what we can and what we can’t do,” Coples told the Post. “We know the rule.”
Just another chapter to the controversy, and to the Patriots-Jets rivalry.
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