Belichick and Ryan: Intertwined?

The Patriots and Jets head coaches have plenty of ties to each, whether they want to admit it or not. Does that translate into ill will?

Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick couldn't operate their respective organizations any differently than they already do.

Ryan prefers to keep the ultimate goal in mind, and he doesn't refrain from reminding outsiders of exactly what that goal is. Belichick is a little different. Check that… A lot different. The three-time Super Bowl winner has been there and done that, yet he tends to look only as far as the final seconds of New England's upcoming game. One game at a time.

"Two different schools of thought," said Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. "But nothing wrong with either one."

Rex Ryan's twin brother, Rob, was with the Patriots for four years as a linebackers coach and won two Super Bowl rings with Belichick. Belichick coached against Rex's father, Buddy Ryan, when Buddy was at Arizona and Belichick coached the Browns.

Now, Rex and Belichick battle it out twice a year in high-stakes AFC East divisional games. Point being, the two have crossed paths. Vague paths thus far, but meaningful, nonetheless.

"I have a lot of respect for Rex – I always have," Belichick said Wednesday in a conference call with the New York media. "My relationship with that family goes back quite a ways with Buddy in Philadelphia and Arizona, when we were both coordinators or head coaches in the league. I have a lot of respect for what he does and the way that his teams play."

Rex said his off-the-field experience with Belichick is quite minute, though Rob did Rex the luxury of filling him in.

"(Rob) thought the world of Bill," Rex said. "My brother said, ‘You think you're pretty good when you're a move or two ahead of somebody.' But he always said this: ‘Belichick was four or five moves ahead of that.' I have always said that he's the best coach in the league. But I'm here to beat him."

Despite different paths, both coaches' quarterbacks seem to like their head guy just they way they are. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady knows there's no changing either of them, anyway.

"That's their personality," Brady said. "I think that's just the way God made them."

Like Brady, Sanchez has his preference of the coaches' "schools of thoughts."

"I'm in this one," he said. "So I like this one better."

Nick St. Denis covers the Jets for Follow him at

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