Brady downplays Ryan's slight, heaps praise on Belichick

Tom Brady skipped watching part of the New York Jets' playoff game and still couldn't leave football completely behind.

The New England Patriots quarterback spent Saturday night in a Broadway audience at the play "Lombardi." He noticed many similarities between legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi and his own coach, Bill Belichick.

"They demand the best from their players," Brady said during his weekly appearance on WEEI-AM's "The Dennis & Callahan Show" on Monday. "They don't give a damn who you are or what you've done. They care about what you're going to do this week."

This week ,the Patriots are preparing for Sunday's divisional playoff game against the Jets, who advanced with a 17-16 victory over the Indianapolis Colts and quarterback Peyton Manning.

Jets coach Rex Ryan couldn't resist aiming another zinger at Brady.

"Peyton Manning would have been watching our game," Ryan said Monday with a huge grin.

Just last Thursday, Ryan said no one studies like Manning.

"I know Brady thinks he does," Ryan said then. "I think there's a little more help from Belichick with Brady than there is with Peyton Manning."

Brady shied away from any verbal spat.

"Everybody's obviously entitled to their opinion," he said, "and maybe he's right. But I'll keep getting ready like we've done all year and get ready for Sunday night."

"I don't think anything people really say has bothered me -- good, bad or indifferent -- over the years.

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"I get a ton of help from our coach," Brady added. "We have the best coach in the history of football."

With tickets he got before he knew who would be in the Saturday night game, Brady watched an actor play another outstanding coach. Of course, he checked his Blackberry from time to time for updates on the Jets-Colts game.

Brady admitted to getting "very anxious watching those games," and said he probably wouldn't have watched even if he hadn't gone to the theater with his wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen. But the game wasn't over when he got home.

"I got suckered into watching the second half by my two best friends," Brady said, and he didn't go to sleep until 3 a.m.

Brady addressed comments by Jets tight end Dustin Keller, suggesting the rematch afforded New York an opportunity for payback following New England's 45-3 victory in Week 13.

"It's our chance to get back (at New England)," Keller told the* Boston Herald* after Saturday's wild-card victory. "We're very confident going into this game. Obviously, last time we didn't give close to our best effort. You have to go through New England to get to the Super Bowl, and that's our ultimate goal."

Brady downplayed the affair.

"I don't think that'll have any bearing on it, not in any situation," Brady said. "You can have the whole team talk, 'We're going to do this and do that,' and it doesn't mean anything. To me, it's a lot more hype than substance.

"What really matters is what you do in the game. We could sit here and make all these predictions of what we're going to do, but it's not how we go about our business. We handle it the same way. All the hype, buildup -- but you got to go play. See who's ready to play.

"At this point, we're motivated by much more than what people say," Brady continued. "We're motivated by the fact that we have a great opportunity to be playing a division rival at home in the most important game of the year. That's plenty of motivation for us. We're going to let our play do the talking as we always do."

This season's first encounter in Week 2 was won 28-14 by the Jets, who were no match the second time around, when the Patriots scored on their first four possessions and led 24-3 at halftime.

The all-time record between the franchises, including playoffs, is 51-51-1.

"There's going to be a lot of hype and buildup and people saying things," Brady said. "The reality is none of it matters. What matters is that whistle is going to blow at 4:30 on Sunday night and the team that executes the best and is the most prepared is the team that's going to win."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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