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Brady deflects salvo from Jets' Cromartie

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- 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: Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie called the mop-topped leader of the New England Patriots an expletive.

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

Cromartie made his comment Tuesday to the New York Daily News and didn't back off Wednesday, although he said he's never met Brady.

"Why should I regret it? That's how I feel," he said. "As long as I'm in the NFL and he's in the NFL, there's going to be a hatred."

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."

Does anything faze this guy?

New York's Rex Ryan hopes to be as successful outwitting New England's Bill Belichick on the field as he is off it when the coaches lead their teams in Sunday's playoff game.

Ryan already has opened wide his bulging playbook of colorful remarks by throwing verbal jabs at Brady, who simply shrugs them off -- but may not forget.

In other Jets news, the team placed starting right tackle Damien Woody on injured reserve with a left Achilles' tendon injury. Woody returned from a right knee problem to play all but the final three plays of last weekend's wild-card win at Indianapolis. He hurt the Achilles' tendon on the final drive and was replaced by Wayne Hunter.


Around the league

*Former Buffalo Bills receiver James Hardy was signed to a future contract by the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday, according to published reports. Hardy, 25, was cut by the Bills in September. The former second-round draft pick caught just 10 passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns in his two seasons in Buffalo. Hardy will be eligible to join the Ravens after they complete the postseason.

*Though Minnesota state lawmakers appear likely to insist that a roof be part of any public deal for a new Vikings stadium, the team is sticking with its offer to pay about a third of the bill -- minus whatever a roof would cost. The Vikings' lease in the currently snow-damaged Metrodome expires after the 2011 season.

*John Fox met with Denver Broncos officials about their coaching vacancy. Fox's contract wasn't renewed by the Panthers after a 2-14 season.

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