Rex Ryan: Patriots’ violation of unwritten rule led to pregame skirmish
The last time the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots faced off back in Week 4, a pregame scuffle broke out. And according to Bills head coach Rex Ryan, all the blame can be laid at the feet of Patriots players … and where their feet happened to be prior to the skirmish.
The pregame dust-up was ignited by a Bills safety Robert Blanton shoving Brissett as Patriots players jogged down the field.
Here’s a better quality video of the #Bills and #Patriots shoving match from earlier. Robert Blanton starts it by shoving Jacoby Brissett. pic.twitter.com/IJe0OTToYx
— Prescott Rossi (@PrescottRossi) October 2, 2016
Ryan on Thursday insists the so-called unwritten rule violation stems from Patriots players, Brissett included, running through the Bills’ warm-up area, an apparent no-no.
“It’s no big deal. It’s kind of an unwritten thing in the NFL,” Ryan said, via ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak. “So whatever happens, it’s no big deal. Focus is on just playing the game.”
When asked to clarify said “unwritten thing,” Ryan obliged.
“I mean, you got your spot on the field where you’re supposed to be, and that’s just the way it is,” Ryan said. “It’s always been that way for the 20 years I’ve been in the league and much longer than that.
“But trust me, it’s no big deal. I’ve never thought one second of it. It’s about the game, and that’s all that matters.”
Despite Ryan blowing off the entire situation, his players have pumped up the rhetoric, with Bills cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman saying if Patriots do the same thing Sunday, they should expect “the same reaction that they got last time.”
Bills corner Stephon Gilmore echoed that sentiment, saying, “We’re not gonna let nobody push us around.”
There’s no telling what kind of fireworks would ensue should Patriots players make a passing jog through Bills players warming up on the turf of Ralph Wilson Stadium ahead of Sunday’s showdown. But it warrants noting that the events of Week 4’s pregame brouhaha yielded fines for only Bills players — Blanton, Robey-Coleman as well as safety Aaron Williams — not any Patriots.