When it came to preventing the New England Patriots from gaining an edge, there was apparently no measure too far for Rex Ryan’s Buffalo Bills.
Former Bills general manager Doug Whaley opened up this week about the great lengths the team would go during Ryan’s coaching tenure to prevent the Patriots from spying on Buffalo’s game plans. That included some extra housekeeping during road games, Whaley shared.
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Bills Prevented Patriots From Dumpster Diving
Appearing on Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan show this week, Whaley said that Ryan was determined not to give the Patriots any kind of opening that would give Bill Belichick an advantage, which meant loading up all of their garbage after road games and hauling it back to Buffalo.
“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).”
Whaley said Ryan would instruct the team’s staff to take anything that could reveal Buffalo’s gameplans and make sure it was not left behind, where Belichick could presumably dig through it.
“The equipment guys would load it with all the soiled jerseys and uniforms,” Whaley said. We would carry it back to Buffalo and throw it all away in Buffalo.”
The approach had mixed results for Ryan. He went 1-3 against the Patriots during his tenure of just less than two full seasons, the only win coming in Week 4 of 2016 when Tom Brady was serving his suspension for the Deflategate scandal. The Bills handed Belichick a rare shutout in that game, defeating the Jacoby Brissett-led team 16-0.
While it may have seemed a bit paranoid of Ryan to bag up the team’s garbage and bring it back, Whaley said it was a wise move given how obsessed Belichick is with finding any kind of edge.
“Don’t put anything past that mad scientist,” Whaley said. “He’s going to do whatever it takes to win, by any means necessary.”
Bills Now on Top
The tabled have turned since Ryan’s tenure with the Bills. The departure of Brady from the Patriots and arrival of Josh Allen as a top-tier quarterback has the Bills as the new division powerhouse. Last season the Bills won their first AFC East title since 1995, making it the first time a team other than the Patriots won the division since 2009. The Bills are an overwhelming favorite to repeat as division champs, with ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques suggested that the Miami Dolphins, not the Patriots, could be the only team with a chance to knock off the Bills.
“The AFC East belongs to Buffalo,” he wrote. “Josh Allen became the quarterback he had shown flashes of during his first two seasons, and the offense dominated to a point that the defense’s drop from elite to mediocre nearly went unpunished. With the same key pieces in place on both sides of the ball, and a rare fourth straight season with the same coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator, there’s little on paper to suggest Buffalo won’t win its second straight division title in 2021.”