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Spotted: Bill Belichick, Rex Ryan walk into NFL combine together 02.20.15 at 11:22 am ET
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NFL Network cameras caught two AFC East coaches, Bill Belichick and Rex Ryan walking into the NFL combine in Indianapolis together on Friday morning. Ryan was wearing a throwback Thurman Thomas No. 34 Bills jersey, and Belichick a gray hoodie for his charitable foundation.

Read More: 2015 NFL combine, Bill Belichick, Rex Ryan,
Jets HC Todd Bowles: ‘You can’t beat the Patriots in February’ 02.18.15 at 8:27 pm ET
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Jets head coach Todd Bowles doesn't seem to be concerned with the Patriots. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles doesn’t seem to be concerned with the Patriots. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Former Jets head coach Rex Ryan loved to talk about the Patriots, and wasn’t afraid to let it be known he wouldn’t back down to the team led by Bill Belichick.

New Jets head coach Todd Bowles seems to have a different approach, as the new coach said Wednesday at the NFL combine the rivalry doesn’t mean anything right now.

“I don’€™t think it means anything to us right now,” Bowles told reporters at the combine. “Right now, we’€™re trying to become the New York Jets and we’€™re trying to become a winning ballclub. We’€™re going to concentrate on us. You can’€™t beat the Patriots in February. Just beating the Patriots is not going to cut it if you lose to everybody else. We’€™ve got to have a growth process of how to win while we’€™re winning and trying to win and beat more than just the Patriots”.

With New York coming off a 4-12 season, the Jets have a lot of things to worry about besides the Patriots.

Bowles said the team first off needs to come together as one, working together to improve on a rough 2014 season.

“€œI would say belief. Belief,” Bowles said. “We’€™ve got to get them to play together. We’€™ve got to have accountability. We’€™ve got to jell as a team. They’€™ve got to be allowed to let the coaches coach them and we’€™ve got to understand what our players can and can’€™t do. The faster we can get that done, hopefully the faster we can turn this thing around.”

It would seem the first issue Bowles will need to address is what to do at quarterback, and if he wants to continue with Geno Smith, who turned the ball over 14 times this past season. Bowles said ultimately he will need to sit down and see him first-hand in order to make any kind of long-term decision.

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Read More: 2015 NFL combine, Geno Smith, New York Jets, Rex Ryan
Rex Ryan: ‘It was terrible’ watching Patriots win Super Bowl XLIX at 1:36 pm ET
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Although Rex Ryan is no longer coaching the Jets, he didn’t go very far as he’s still in the AFC East coaching the Bills, which means the Patriots remain his top competition within the division.

Speaking at the NFL combine Wednesday, Ryan was asked what it was like to see the Patriots win the Super Bowl.

“It was terrible, next question,” Ryan joked to reporters. “No, you know what? That was a great game, obviously a great game. I think it was anticipated it was going to be a great game. You had two outstanding teams, both of them really well coached. And, obviously, it was an outstanding game.”

The day of the Super Bowl a report came out that the Bills would be interested in acquiring Patriots star cornerback Darrelle Revis, reuniting Revis with his former coach in New York. Ryan was asked if he had any interest in the Patriots’ corner, and Ryan didn’t take the bait, as he didn’t want to get himself involved with potentially tampering with another team’s player.

“All right, now, I was waiting. I knew it would come from somebody,” said Ryan. “See, my first year, I would have done this and I would have swung at that pitch, and probably been fined for tampering or something like that. This time, no way am I going to talk about somebody else’s player, so I refuse to do that.”

Ryan also was asked about Deflategate, and if the accusations changed the way he viewed the Patriots winning the Super Bowl. The Bills coach said it shouldn’t take away from the win, as the team earned it.

“I think they earned the Super Bowl, period,” he said. “That’s the way I’d see it.”

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Read More: 2015 NFL combine, Buffalo Bills, Rex Ryan,
Report: Rex Ryan to become coach of Bills 01.11.15 at 9:33 am ET
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Rex Ryan is staying in the AFC East.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the former Jets coach has been offered and accepted the head coaching job with the Bills, after being fired from the Jets following the season.

Ryan coached the Jets for six years, and led them to two AFC championship games. He was 46-50.

Read More: 2015 playoffs, Bufallo Bills, Rex Ryan,
Adam Schefter on MFB: ‘I think [Patriots] win this matchup handily’ 01.09.15 at 1:05 pm ET
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Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter

ESPN’s Adam Schefter made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Friday to talk about pressing issues in the NFL as well as his take on the Patriots’ upcoming game against the Ravens. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Unlike many people who have expressed their concerns with Saturday’s matchup, Schefter feels strongly that the Patriots have more than a decent chance to advance to the AFC championship game, even stressing how he thought New England would win “handily.”

“Everybody is talking about how this is the matchup that New England didn’t want, this is a nightmare play,” he said. “They get to play the team that has beaten them two of the last three, I mean, I could just hear this playing in the organization, you know the message that’s been delivered all week long. ‘Oh, nobody’s giving us a chance ’cause it’s Baltimore, this is a team that we should fear, this is the team that could beat us.’ I think it’s just the opposite.

“I think this sets up great for New England,” Schefter continued. “This is the kind of matchup that they win handily. I don’€™t know whether that means by 10, 20, 30, I have no idea, whatever it is … I think they win this matchup handily.”

Schefter also pointed out that the Ravens team on everyone’s mind from years past is not the same Ravens team playing in Foxboro on Saturday afternoon and that this Patriots team is different from the ones that lost the last two of three playoff games against Baltimore.

“The ones that lost, they didn’t have [Darrelle] Revis and [Brandon] Browner, they didn’t have [Rob] Gronkowski when they lost those two games,” he said. “Last year, Week 16, Baltimore needed to win a home game in Baltimore to get to the playoffs. New England deactivated Nate Solder to rest him, Rob Gronkowski was on IR, and New England, with nothing to play for, went into Baltimore and won 41-7. Forty-one to 7. So I think that New England is just feeding off this idea that this is a nightmare matchup for the Patriots. We’ll see if it is.”

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Read More: adam schefter, Josh McDaniels, Rex Ryan,
Adam Schefter on MFB: Patriots offense ‘needs to be at a higher level’ 01.02.15 at 1:29 pm ET
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Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter

ESPN’s Adam Schefter made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss the Patriots’ postseason chances and other NFL news. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Schefter said the Patriots should fear no opponent as long as they play “their brand of football,” but he did express some concern with how the team ended the season, struggling offensively in the last couple of games.

“There’s always something to be working on, and I think that that’s perfect for Bill Belichick or any head coach, because it gives any coach a reason to rail on his team a little bit,” Schefter told MFB guest hosts Danny Picard, DJ Bean and Mike Giardi. “But they know, once you get to this point of the season, you’ve got to ratchet it up. The offense has slacked off some and they need to get it better and they’re working on that and we’ll see how it works out, but no question the offense needs to be at a higher level, the way it was about midway through the season as opposed to how it was when it started the season or how it was when it ended the season.”

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels won’t be able to fully focus on finding a cure this weekend, as he is scheduled to interview with the Falcons on Friday and the 49ers on Saturday.

“I think the one thing that works against him is the fact that there are a lot of good candidates, and he’s going to be on a playoff team and is there going to be a team out there that’s willing to wait for him? I don’t know that that’s going to be the case,” Schefter said. “But I don’t think he’s concerned. I think he loves being there, you’re in a great organization. If you get one of these head coaching jobs this year, great. And if you don’t, guess what? There were teams last year who were after him, there are teams this year who are after him, and if he doesn’t get one this year there’ll be teams next year who are after him.

“So in a perfect world you’d get a chance to get one of these jobs. But he’s in a bit of a tricky situation, because you’ve got the playoffs going on, there are some good candidates out there, are all these teams going to be willing to wait? A lot of things still have to be decided. But we do know Falcons today, 49ers tomorrow, and we’ll see how that goes.”

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Read More: adam schefter, Doug Marrone, Josh McDaniels, Rex Ryan
Could Patriots see Rex Ryan on opposing sideline this postseason? 12.30.14 at 12:55 am ET
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Could Rex Ryan be back to face the Patriots as a consultant to another playoff team next month? (Getty Images)

Could Rex Ryan be back to face the Patriots as a consultant to another playoff team next month? (Getty Images)

The Jets made it official on Monday, firing Rex Ryan as head coach. In five seasons, Ryan’€™s defenses made life difficult for Tom Brady and the Patriots offense at least twice a year — while his teams were almost always offensively challenged, Ryan’€™s defenses always managed to provide a stern test for New England.

But could Ryan show up on an opposing sideline to face the Patriots sooner rather than later? Specifically, this postseason? It’€™s not out of the realm of possibility. After all, New England football fans can recall the case of Josh McDaniels, who was allowed to leave the Rams at the end of the 2011 regular-season following the firing of head coach Steve Spagnuolo. McDaniels joined the Patriots that postseason, and was part of the coaching staff — as an offensive assistant — for the playoff game against his old team, the Broncos before taking over as the offensive coordinator the following season when Bill O’Brien left for Penn State.

With that in mind, there’€™s nothing to prevent Ryan joining another postseason team in the next week or so, and potentially bringing the secrets of his defensive success against the Patriots with him. Granted, it’€™s considered a long-shot for a few reasons, not the least of which is the fact that Ryan apparently wants a head coaching gig, and the idea of a short-term stopover with another franchise on the way to a full-time job probably isn’€™t all that palatable for him. (Not to mention the idea of another team letting him into their building for a month or two, only to see him stroll out the door with any sort of inside info he might attain along the way.)

But the idea of Rex and another playoff opponent conspiring to take down the Patriots next month is certainly food for thought. And while there are 11 other possibilities still out there, Ryan with the Broncos would likely be the most intriguing scenario, for a few reasons.

Denver is thought to have all the requisite pieces in place on the defensive side of the ball to allow him to play the sort of aggressive, attacking style he loves. With the exception of last year’€™s AFC title game, Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has looked pretty much clueless when it comes to going up against Brady and the Patriots. And while Del Rio and Ryan share some of the same basic defensive ideas from their time together in Baltimore, Ryan’€™s secrets to slowing Brady and the Patriots would represent a sizable improvement in that regard for the Broncos. (Against this backdrop, there’€™s also the possibility of Del Rio interviewing — or even taking — one of the available head coaching jobs, which would certainly add some potential intrigue to the mix.)

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Rex Ryan,
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