Broncos begin war of words with Patriots

Posted Jan 20, 2016

The Denver Broncos have quickly started a verbal war against their opponents on Sunday in the AFC Championship game.

With four Super Bowl rings in his collection, Tom Brady is demonstrably a winner. But is he also “a whiner”? That was the claim made by Broncos defensive end Malik Jackson during NBC radio’s PFT Live show on Tuesday evening.

“I mean when we played him he definitely threw some temper tantrums,” said Jackson. “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.”

Jackson’s comments came after his team-mate and fellow end Antonio Smith had responded in the affirmative to a question earlier in the day about whether Brady could be described as a “crybaby”. “That would be an accurate statement,” said Smith. “I've never seen any quarterback look to the referee right after he gets sacked more than Brady.”

They are hardly the first to make such assertions. The New York City tabloids have long bemoaned Brady’s habit of looking to the referees, with one even going so far as to mock him up as a baby in a crib a few years back. A quick Google search turns up no end of fan-generated gifs and memes out working on much the same gag.

Brady has heard it all before. The suggestion that the Patriots might use such comments as bulletin board material is probably overblown. This is a team with a pretty good track record of beating all opponents - whether they talk smack or not - over the past few years. And besides, both Jackson and Smith had been led into the remarks by journalists, and went out of their way to stress their respect for Brady’s talent and competitiveness in the same conversations.

But if the aim was to provoke some kind of reaction, then on that front the Broncos may have succeeded. Not from Brady himself, but instead from his favourite target, Rob Gronkowski.

Denver cornerback Chris Harris Jr had been asked on Sportscenter on Tuesday on how his team could best defend the Patriots tight end, and replied: "You gotta hit him low, man. Hit him in his knees. That's the best chance you got of hitting him." Gronkowski responded on Twitter with what looked like an off-colour quip.

Two more things you might have missed

- So, how do you stop Brady and the Patriots? In the word of former Ravens safety Ed Reed: “Pray.”

- MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas has a behind-the-scenes look at the process that aspiring NFL head coaches go through when interviewing for a job

Latest Videos