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Brady on Jets' latest trash talk: 'We'll see on Sunday night'

Tom Brady just wants to talk about football. The New York Jets won't let him.

Day after noisy day, the mouths to the south keep moving. The quarterback tries to evade their onslaughts as if they were 300-pound pass rushers.

The latest blitz: New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie called the mop-topped leader of the New England Patriots an expletive.

When asked Tuesday if he has ever seen Brady point at the Jets' sideline after a score, Cromartie said yes -- a little too emphatically.

"We see that a lot. He does it a lot," Cromartie told the *New York Daily News*. "That's the kind of guy he is. We really don't give a damn, to tell you the truth."

So Brady is ...

"An ass----. ---- him."

Cromartie said there was clear evidence of the quarterback's antics in game film.

"He's doing the pointing at our defensive line and stuff like that," Cromartie said. "That's the kind of a guy he is. He's a competitor, he loves what he's doing. He's going to compete. When you're competing, you are not worrying about anything else, about what anybody else is doing. You're just worried about what you have to do."

Asked about his comments Wednesday, Cromartie stood his ground.

"Why would I regret them?" he asked. "That's my opinion and how I feel about it. There's no reason for me to sit back and take anything I said about him back, and I'm not. My opinion is going to be my opinion. I don't care if anybody doesn't like it."

Brady was asked for his response Wednesday morning.

"I've been called worse," he said, brushing it off like the heavy snow that fell on Foxborough the last two days. "I'm sure there's a long list of people who feel that way."

Brady just keeps plowing forward.

The Patriots' most valuable motorist, who was involved in a car collision three days before the season opener but made it to practice, traveled treacherous roads and arrived at work on time Wednesday.

"It was tough conditions for everyone," Brady said. "But everyone's here, ready to work and get ready for the biggest game of the year."

It appears nothing can faze Brady this time of year, though Jets coach rex Ryan hopes to on the field Sunday in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game. Like Cromartie, his words off of it -- Ryan already has opened wide his bulging playbook of colorful remarks by throwing verbal jabs at Brady -- have had little effect on the Patriots quarterback

Last Thursday, the Jets boss said "nobody" studies like Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. Brady, Ryan said, "thinks he does" but receives more help from Belichick than there is with Manning. Brady acknowledged that he is given "a ton" of help from his coach.

Ryan also was asked about Cromartie's comments during his Wednesday conference call.

"As an organization, we respect Tom Brady, there no question about it," the coach said. "But you know, hey, is there dislike between us and Brady and Brady against the Jets? Of course there is. Am I going to punish Cromartie for saying something or whatever? No.

"We respect New England. But we don't fear them. And a comment like that is just the fact that they're the enemy as we look at them this week."

On Saturday night during the Patriots' bye week, Brady attended the Broadway play "Lombardi" about Green Bay's legendary coach, Vince Lombardi, and missed part of the television broadcast of the Jets' 17-16 playoff victory over the Colts. Ryan said Monday, with a grin, that "Manning would have been watching our game."

Ryan also said that day that Brady "took a shot at me by his antics on the field," alluding to Brady pointing at the Jets' sideline after scoring?

"I don't like seeing that; nobody does. No Jet fan likes to see that," Ryan said. "And I know he can't wait to do it. He's not going to say anything publicly."

He's right about that.

"It's certainly not my intent. I'm sure there's 50,000 cameras on the game. If I did that, I'm sure they'd show it," Brady said, sounding innocent. "I don't think I've ever pointed at anybody. That's not my style."

Even if he did rub it in by gesturing to the New York sideline after scoring during a 45-3 New England victory Dec. 6, it could have been prevented -- by the Jets themselves.

"He was pretty demonstrative when we played him up there last time," Jets linebacker Jason Taylor said. "I come from the school of thought where if you don't want someone to celebrate or be excited or say something to you or do something that you might perceive as offensive, then don't let them score."

Cromartie said he hopes Brady tries to pick on him Sunday for his remark.

"I hope so. I really do," Cromartie said. "I hope he'll throw the ball 10 times my way. I hope I go out and make him pay. That's the only thing you can do."

But is there a line that can be crossed that goes beyond trash talking?

"I'm sure there is," Belichick said calmly.

And what is that?

"I don't know," he said. "In my mind right now, it's the New York Jets Sunday at 4:30."

Might all the jabbering have an effect on the Patriots' performance then?

"We'll see on Sunday night at 7:30 (when the game ends)," Brady said. "That's when everybody will be able to tell whether it played a role or not."

It will be Brady's first playoff game since the worst one in a career in which he is 14-4 in the postseason with three Super Bowl championships. He lost in the first round last season to the Baltimore Ravens, 33-14. In the first quarter alone, he threw two interceptions, lost a fumble and was sacked twice as the Ravens took a 24-0 lead. Even his home fans booed him.

Brady hasn't talked much about whether or not that loss motivates him, but he appears more driven this season. He has thrown 36 touchdown passes and just four interceptions, only one more than the Ravens picked off in that playoff rout.

"That's kind of hard to do in this league," Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis said, "and he's doing it like a piece of cake."

Ryan keeps saying he respects Brady as a player but won't punish Cromartie for using a nasty word.

"We don't have to be all lovey-dovey and say he's the greatest thing since sliced bread," Ryan said. "We have a right to our opinion and a comment like that, it's no big deal."

Belichick said his team is focused on preparing for the game. His players said that Cromartie's characterization doesn't motivate them and that he's entitled to his opinion.

When asked about the unflattering description, Brady smoothly shifted the direction to praising Cromartie's skills.

"He's a good player," Brady said. "Revis is a great player. They have a great secondary, and they are one of the best defenses we face. We're going to spend a lot of time preparing for them. ... The way they shut down the Colts' offense is pretty impressive because we know how good that offense is."

Cromartie has one of the four interceptions that Brady threw. Revis held AFC receptions leader Reggie Wayne to one catch for a yard in the playoff victory at Indianapolis.

For the Patriots, the goal is to beat Cromartie and his defensive mates on the field. The talk can wait.

"I don't think we're spending our time figuring out what we can do to combat what people say about us," Brady said. "Not everybody has great things to say about our team or organization or certain players, and that's the way it's always been."

Brady has even been criticized by his own coaches. Some, he said, have used the same word that Cromartie did.

"Belichick's called me that, and my offensive coordinator calls me that," Brady said. "I know they like me, so maybe he really likes me."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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