FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rex Ryan pushed back at Bill Belichick.
The New York coach vehemently denied the New England coach’s claim that the Jets used similar push techniques on field goals against the Patriots on Sunday.
“That’s not true!” Ryan said Wednesday.
Linebacker Calvin Pace also responded to Belichick, saying the AFC East-rival coach needs to learn to “lose graciously.”
During a conference call Tuesday with Boston reporters, Belichick was asked if he was bothered by a report that said the Jets alerted officials to the Patriots pushing on field goals. New England was called for the penalty — the first time it had been called in a game — to set up New York’s winning field goal in overtime Sunday.
“Well, I mean, since they were using the play themselves, I don’t even know about all that,” Belichick said. “But, basically we’re just moving on here.”
Belichick was apparently referring to a play during Stephen Gostkowski’s 44-yard field goal with 16 seconds left in regulation. Quinton Coples appeared to extend his right arm and slightly push teammate Muhammad Wilkerson from behind toward the Patriots’ formation.
There was no call on that play, but it was also not as evident as what the Patriots did in overtime when Nick Folk was wide left on a 56-yarder, but had the miss was negated when New England’s Chris Jones was called for unsportsmanlike conduct on a 15-yard penalty. Jones was penalized for pushing his teammate “into the opponents’ formation.”
Folk kicked a 42-yarder to win it a few minutes later, giving the Jets a 30-27 victory.
Belichick disagreed with the application of the rule after the game, saying, “You can’t push in the second level. I didn’t think we did that.” Belichick backtracked Monday, saying he was mistaken in his interpretation.
But then came his accusatory comments on Tuesday.
“He’s got to make up his mind,” Ryan said. “Was he aware of this thing? Was it second-level, all this kind of jazz? Or, now the story is we did it? OK, I got you.
“The fact is, we’re moving on. We earned that victory plain and simple.”
Pace took exception to the Belichick flip-flopping.
“It’s like he didn’t admit it, then he admitted it,” Pace told Newsday. “At some point, you’ve won so many games, you win graciously, you’ve got to lose graciously.
“We played well. It’s not like we just had a fluke win.”
Ryan told Newsday that it seemed like the Patriots coach was “trying to trying to take away from the fact that we earned the game.”
“Any way you shake it, we earned that game,” Ryan said. “When you’re 2-1 in time of possession, when you’ve got 69 runs and completions to 42, when you win the quarterback rating against them, those are all factors that go into wins and losses. We earned that game and to me, we never did what he’s claiming we did. That’s not accurate. … This one here, it was a good win, but quite honestly, I think we expected to win.”
NOTES: Wide receiver Santonio Holmes and tight end Jeff Cumberland both didn’t practice with hamstring injuries. Ryan seemed optimistic Cumberland will be OK to play Sunday at Cincinnati. Holmes, however, has missed three straight games since being hurt at Tennessee last month. … Backup QB David Garrard was activated Monday and added to the active roster after sitting out a few months while contemplating retirement because of a balky knee. Ryan said Garrard’s conditioning is “good but I wouldn’t call it great right now,” but added that the veteran’s arm is strong and could serve as a mentor to rookie Geno Smith. “He’s been there and done it,” Ryan said.
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