Rex Ryan's Bills would take garbage home to prevent Patriots cheating

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Rex Ryan's Bills took wild measures to guard against Pats' cheating originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots will do whatever it takes to gain an edge. Including sifting through an opponent's garbage.

That's what former Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan thought, anyway. During an appearance on Pittsburgh's 93.7 The Fan radio show Wednesday, former Bills general manager Doug Whaley shared a wild story of the measures Ryan would take after road games against the Patriots to guard against any foul play.

"We would actually take our garbage away," Whaley said. "Rex Ryan says when the game is over, 'All that garbage? Let's go. Let’s take it. You never know about this dude (Belichick).' 

"The equipment guys would load it with all the soiled jerseys and uniforms. We would carry it back to Buffalo and throw it all away in Buffalo."

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To call Ryan's actions paranoid behavior would be an understatement, but that paranoia extended to Whaley as well.

"Don’t put anything past that mad scientist," Whaley said of Belichick. "He's going to do whatever it takes to win, by any means necessary."

Whaley said his view of Belichick was tainted after Spygate, in which the Patriots were caught illegally filming the Jets' defensive signals in 2007 when former New England defensive coordinator Eric Mangini was New York's head coach.

"A guy that worked for him, so (Mangini) knew he was going to do it," Whaley said. "That’s when I was like, 'All right dude, you just got some brass cojones and you just don’t care.'

"After that I was like, 'I respect what you did as a coach in winning those Super Bowl titles, but I don’t respect how you went about it.'"

The "cheating" narrative will always follow the Patriots, but the Bills' concern that New England staffers would literally go through their trash at Gillette Stadium to unearth some sort of competitive advantage is over the top, to say the least.

It's also evidence of the psychological edge the Patriots had over their opponents during the Belichick-Tom Brady era. The Bills beat New England five times total from 2000 to 2019, and Ryan clearly was aware of that fact -- to the point where he thought Belichick might be gaining an edge on his team by dumpster diving.