Tom Brady appeared amused when asked about comments from Denver Broncos defenders Antonio Smith and Malik Jackson, who said the New England Patriots quarterback is a “crybaby” and “whiner” when complaining to referees.
On Monday, Smith was asked if the Broncos think Brady is a crybaby when it comes to pleading with officials for flags during games.
“That would be an accurate statement. I’ve never seen any quarterback look to the referee right after he gets sacked more than Brady,” Smith said, via the Colorado Springs Gazette. “Every time he gets sacked he looks at the ref like, ‘You see him sack me? Was that supposed to happen? He did it a little hard. Please throw a 15-yard penalty on him. Get him fined.’”
Jackson went on NBC Sports’ “Pro Football Talk Live” radio show on Tuesday and said Brady is a “whiner.”
“I mean when we played him he definitely threw some temper tantrums,” Jackson said. “It’s one of those things that you know. He definitely (says), ‘What’s going on? Why?’ Definitely one of those whiners that whines but it’s a competitive game. I know I wouldn’t be whining like that, but some people do. So he’s definitely a whiner but he’s actually a big time player, competitor, too.”
The New York Daily News and New York Post used Smith’s remarks to put Brady on their back covers Wednesday, with the Daily News referring to him as “CryBrady” and the New York Post calling him “Tom Baby.”
Brady was asked by reporters on Wednesday if he works referees more than others players.
“I’m not sure what the other quarterbacks do,” Brady said before the team’s first practice in advance of Sunday’s AFC Championship Game in Denver. “If the refs want to throw the flag, I love when they throw flags on the defenders, absolutely. It advances our team. That’s just part of football.”
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also dismissed the Broncos’ talk.
“We’re focused on the Denver Broncos in the game. All the rest of it is a bunch of hot air,” Belichick said.
Meanwhile, Brady and Belichick shared their respect for Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.
“He’s an incredible player, an incredible leader for his team,” Brady said. “He’s a great passer. He’s so accurate, throws on time, knows where everybody on the field is, offensively and defensively. He knows how to look defenders off and put the ball in the right location so those guys can catch and run with it. I think he’s just a great pocket passer.”
Belichick added, “There is no player off our team that I have any more respect for than Peyton Manning. His preparation, his consistency, his skills; I would never, ever, ever underestimate him under any circumstance.”