Rex Ryan tore a page out of Bill Belichick's motivational playbook in hopes of helping the New York Jets overcome Monday night's humiliating loss to Belichick's team.
A day and a half after the New England Patriots destroyed the Jets 45-3 in Gillette Stadium, Ryan took a ball from the debacle and buried it while his players watched before Wednesday's practice. Ryan laid the game ball to rest behind a goal post at the team's facility.
"We were shocked," cornerback Darrelle Revis said. "Nobody was saying anything."
That's what Belichick did -- in 2001.
After a 30-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins dropped the Patriots to 1-3. Belichick put a game ball in a black box and placed it in a hole near the practice field. When the players reported, Belichick led them to the hole. He told them to bury the game and move on. Lawyer Milloy and Troy Brown kicked dirt over the ball and spat on the mound.
The Patriots lost only two more games to claim the AFC East and then win their first Super Bowl. Ryan's twin brother, Rob Ryan, was the Patriots' linebackers coach at the time.
So now you know where Rex Ryan got the idea.
The NFL is a copycat league even when it comes to football funerals.