In Greg Bedard's The MMQB profile on Mike Pettine, the Browns coach and former Jets defensive coordinator revealed that Tom Brady once hinted to a New York assistant that the Patriots might have had come into possession of Jets playbooks. Pettine wondered if Ryan's decision to give a playbook to Alabama coach Nick Saban -- a mutual friend of both Ryan and Bill Belichick -- played a role.
Cromartie, who spent the past four seasons in New York before signing with the Cardinals in free agency, downplayed the notion that a loose playbook would provide a significant advantage, then took a swipe at Pettine for good measure.
"I think it's all wanting to make up a story," Cromartie said during a Thursday appearance on NFL Network's NFL Total Access. "Because their team is not getting talked about a lot as other teams. I think that's what it really is.
"I've been around Pettine. Pettine is that kind of person. I've been around him for my first three years in New York. I think it's, you know, something he wants to build about."
The Browns clearly haven't been hurting for publicity since drafting Johnny Manziel. But this time the spotlight is on Pettine, who appears to have hit a rough patch in his relationship with a mentor.
I promise to never again write the word "Playbookgate."