- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Being asked to compare New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and New York Jets coach Rex Ryan is tricky business, but tight end Zach Sudfeld, who spent his first training camp with the Patriots but is on the Jets roster for their second AFC East matchup, handled it deftly.
“I think that it’s interesting,” Sudfeld said. “I’ve only been here a couple of weeks but they’re both extremely competitive and you can see that so there’s this under-layer of competitiveness, they both hate to lose. But they go about it in different ways. Rex is a lot more animated.”
Sudfeld was briefly nicknamed ‘Baby Gronk’ while in New England for his resemblance to Rob Gronkowski, who is questionable for Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium. At 6-foot-7, Sudfeld is an inch taller than Gronkowski, but is an unrefined version of the red zone threat that Gronkowski presents.
“I guess (the comparison is) flattering because he’s such a tremendous player,” Sudfeld said, “but I’m trying to make my own path.”
The Jets nabbed Sudfeld off waivers, becoming yet another player to tread the well-worn path between Foxborough and East Rutherford, for competitive value or gamesmanship.
“He’s a sharp, sharp young man, so we do our due diligence and try to get what we can out of him,” Ryan said.
Although Ryan admitted they did try to get some information from Sudfeld, the tight end downplayed his contribution.
“I think the Jets and Patriots have played so much that I think that they know the tendencies pretty well,” Sudfeld said. “I don’t know that there was too much that I was able to offer. Obviously I’m there to help out in any way that I can but I think they have a pretty good feel for what the Patriots are doing.”