- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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In an interview with the Bills' official web site, former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine discussed his relationship with Rex Ryan, downplaying the notion that he and Ryan -- longtime friends and colleagues -- had a falling out.
"Much had been made of the relationship and how things had soured, and that's not the case at all," said Pettine, whose hiring as the Bills' defensive coordinator was announced Thursday by the team. "It's the exact opposite. Our relationship is as strong as it's been. We both felt it was time for me to explore new opportunities and step out from under his shadow and move on. We're like brothers, brothers that fight a lot."
Actually, nothing had been made of their relationship souring, but now that he mentions it...
I think the "shadow" angle is true -- Pettine wanted to go out on his own -- but there were rumblings around the team that the relationship had frayed this season. Pettine turned down an extension at the start of the season and made a lateral move to the Bills. Does that strike anyone as odd?
I'm not saying this is a Bill Belichick-Eric Mangini situation, but it sure sounds like the working relationship had run its course.