On Sunday, Chargers coach Brandon Staley made a questionable decision that almost came back to bite him. On 4th and 1, up by 2 points, he decided to go for it instead of punting and giving Cleveland a longer field. Rex Ryan had something to say about that decision:
Somewhere in that garbled mess, Rex throws out this gem:
“You ain’t as smart as Bill Walsh. You ain’t as smart as Bill Parcells. You ain’t as smart as any other Bill that’s ever coached.”
Seems like it would be pretty fair to assume he was thinking of Bill Belichick with that last line, right? Maybe he didn’t want to vaunt his old handshake nemesis by uttering his name, but it was clear that’s what he meant. But if he knew his relatively recent football history, he could’ve used the moment to fire a shot at Belichick. Since he didn’t, I can only assume he doesn’t actually realize Belichick basically did the exact same thing as Staley.
In November of 2009, Belichick and the Patriots were 6-2 going up against Peyton Manning and the 8-0 Colts. With a 34-28 lead and just over 2 minutes left in the game, Belichick made the decision to go for it on 4th and 2 instead of punting it and forcing Manning to cover the field. Brady dropped it off to running back Kevin Faulk, who bobbled it slightly as he went to the ground. This meant his forward progress was marked where he gained possession, not where he first got his hands on the ball.
After replay, it was determined he came up short. Manning drove down the short field and hit Reggie Wayne for a touchdown, and the extra point gave the Colts a 35-34 win.
Despite his 6 Super Bowl rings (8 if you count his time as an assistant), somehow Bill can’t live down 4th and 2, and it follows him to this day. Well, at least for people who remember these things. Rex Ryan doesn’t seem to remember.