LT: Rex Ryan said he was going to punch Bill Belichick

  • By Dan Hanzus
  • Around the League Writer
  • Published: Sept. 10, 2013 at 09:30 p.m.
  • Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 at 11:07 p.m.

Remember the time Rex Ryan dropped Bill Belichick at midfield before a key matchup between the New York Jets and New England Patriots?
You don't -- or, at least, you shouldn't -- because it never happened. But that doesn't mean Ryan never told his players that was his intention.

On Tuesday's edition of NFL Network's "NFL Total Access," NFL Media's LaDainian Tomlinson recalled a pep talk the Jets coach gave to his players before a showdown between the AFC East rivals.
"We were playing the Patriots one time, and as I mentioned, Rex is a master motivator," said Tomlinson, who played under Ryan in 2010 and 2011. "It was going to be a big game, a heated rivalry game, and Rex got in front of us, he said, 'I'm going to set the tempo today, guys,' he said, 'I'm going to set the tempo when I meet Bill Belichick in the center of the field, I'm gonna start it off and punch him in the face. I loved it."
"He was motivating his guys and he wanted to jump it off," LT added. " ... Our coach showed confidence that he has in us (and) in himself. He can be joking and lighten the mood at the same time while being serious about the competition."
Tomlinson's comments are a reminder of how fun this rivalry was at the turn of the decade. Let's hope the teams can re-capture that spark Thursday night.