August 24, 2010
Brady’s Hard Knocks comments rile up Rex
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady hates the New York Jets. Rex Ryan doesn’t like the New England Patriots.
The verbal sparring has started again and there’s still nearly three weeks to go before the fierce rivals begin their seasons.
During his contractually mandated weekly appearance on WEEI radio on Monday, Brady was asked about “Hard Knocks,” the HBO show giving an inside look at the Jets training camp.
“Honestly, I haven’t turned it on,” he said in a casual manner. “I hate the Jets, so I refuse to support that show.”
The question and answer lasted just 42 seconds and came two-thirds of the way through a 19*-minute interview. But it didn’t take long for the Jets to hear about the words from Brady, who usually is more guarded in his comments.
Ryan’s, whose tongue is a lot looser, liked Brady’s remark.
“It’s great. Hey, join the club,” Ryan said with a laugh.
The back-and-forth may be calculated to stir emotions. It may be the true feelings of the star quarterback and the brash coach. Or it might be just good-natured, off-the-cuff banter. But their words enlivened the often boring preseason routines.
Ryan isn’t a big fan of Brady or the team that has dominated the AFC East, a status that seems threatened by the Jets’ addition of key veterans in the offseason.
“Hell, he knows we hate the Patriots, so what’s the difference?” the coach said with a smile. “My brother’s got a couple of Super Bowl rings. He loves Tom Brady, but I don’t have them, so I don’t like Tom Brady. I respect him, but I don’t like him.”
His brother Rob is a former Patriots assistant. Rex took over the Jets last season from Eric Mangini, the former defensive coordinator for New England and a near clone of Bill Belichick when it comes to bland, non-provocative comments.
The third show of the five-episode “Hard Knocks” series airs Wednesday. Last year’s featured team was the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I’m sure it’s great TV,” Brady said. “I’m glad people are liking it, but that’s just something that I have no interest in watching. I’d love to say a lot of mean things, but I’d rather not do that, either.”
What he did say didn’t surprise Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery.
“Tom has always hated the Jets,” Cotchery said. “We’ve pulled up clips a long time ago, even before Rex got here, with Tom saying things at banquets and all that. He’s always hated the Jets, so I expected to hear that from him.”
The Patriots open their season Sept. 12 at home against Cincinnati and a pair of loudmouth wide receivers — Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco.
Their second opponent? The Jets in New York.
Ryan and the Jets talked a lot before last season’s second game, also against the Patriots.
“Talk is cheap,” Brady said then, but the Jets backed it up with a 16-9 win.
After becoming coach, Ryan said he didn’t go to New York “to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings.”
Then Belichick was asked if anyone had ever done that.
“Uh,” he said, “I don’t think so.”
Belichick said Monday he hasn’t watched “Hard Knocks,” produced in conjunction with NFL Films, and doesn’t know what day it’s on.
Then he took the non-controversial route by saying, “I think anything that NFL Films does is probably worth watching. Nobody does it better than they do in terms of making things interesting, making football interesting.”
Few people make things more boring or secretive than Belichick. So don’t expect him to invite cameras and microphones into the Patriots coaches’ offices, meeting rooms and practice fields for a future “Hard Knocks” series.
“I don’t think that’s a possibility,” linebacker Tully Banta-Cain said with a smile after shaking his head. “We don’t allow that.”
There might be one circumstance where it could happen.
At least according to Brady.
“It may have to be his final season of coaching,” he said on WEEI. “If you ever hear that he’s allowed that to happen, I wouldn’t think there’d be another year after that. He hasn’t told me. Believe me, I have no inside information on that.”
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