By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
FOXBORO (CBS) — On Sunday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Jacoby Brissett would be the starting quarterback for the Patriots against the Bills.
Many people were surprised by the news.
Bills head coach Rex Ryan wasn’t one of them.
In an otherwise subdued postgame press conference following his team’s 16-0 win over the Patriots, Ryan let some of his happiness show when revealing his “inside sources” in Foxboro.
“My sources inside the New England Patriot building said that Jacoby Brissett would be the quarterback,” Ryan stated after his team’s 16-0 win at Gillette stadium. “How’s that? I will stir some stuff up.”
Garoppolo suffered a sprain of the AC joint in his throwing shoulder two weeks ago, and a return after just two weeks was an optimistic proposition. Still, the third-year quarterback looked good during practice this week and was reportedly progressing toward playing. But according to Ryan, it was all a smokescreen.
Most everything Ryan says regarding the Patriots is stated in jest. Yet sensing some excitement, Ryan kept the gag going.
“Who was it? Who was it?” he asked the assembled media. “I don’t know who it was.”
Ryan said that whether it was Garoppolo or Brissett at quarterback, neither compared to Tom Brady.
“Yeah, they are different. But, I got news for you, Garoppolo is not Brady either, not even close,” Ryan said. “But he’s good player, but there is only one Tom Brady.”
Perhaps Ryan will succeed in “stirring some stuff up,” but it will most likely considered Rex being Rex. Certainly, one would have to imagine that the number of people who knew the intimate details of the Patriots’ quarterbacking plans was quite low. Of those select few who knew the details, the chances that one would be a mole for Ryan remain very low.
Yet the podium performance was in line with Ryan’s demeanor all week long. Ryan made news in his dealings with the media earlier this week, first by putting forth an impression of Bill Belichick at the podium and later by impersonating a reporter to ask Julian Edelman a question on a conference call. He reprised his role of Belichick on Sunday afternoon, opening his press conference by saying in a low tone, “On to L.A., I guess.”
Belichick, for his part, will be “on to Cleveland.” He probably won’t waste much time trying to determine if there’s a spy in his midst.