Jets head coach Rex Ryan said that while Cromartie's language "was a little strong for me," he hopes that his team doesn't "like" the Patriots ahead of Sunday's game.
"Danny Woodhead is a great kid but I can't stand him right now," Ryan said, referring to the former Jets running back who is now a star with New England.
True to form, the Patriots quarterback rose above the controversy as Brady brushed aside Cromartie's remarks on Wednesday like he would a mop of his Justin Bieber-esque hair.
"I think I've been called worse. [Head coach Bill] Belichick has called me that, our offensive coordinator has called me that," Brady said in a Wednesday conference call with the New York media. "I know that they like me, so maybe he (Cromartie) really likes me, because there are people who have called me that a few times."
The Patriots are under orders from Belichick to avoid a war of words with the often talkative Jets. On Monday, Ryan said that his match-up with Belichick in Sunday's playoff game was "personal" and termed it as a battle between the two head coaches and not the players on the field. Also on Monday, Ryan poked fun of Tom Brady attending a Broadway play on Saturday, saying that Colts quarterback Peyton Manning would have been watching the playoff game in preparation for Sunday's potential pairing in Foxboro.
Ryan also took umbrage with what he's perceived to be as Brady showmanship directed at the Jets, namely antics he's interpreted on the field as attempting to make a point following touchdowns. Specifically, Ryan had singled out on Monday that the Patriots quarterback seemed to point in the direction of the Jets bench following a touchdown. Gripping the podium during his press conference, Ryan called it simply "Brady being Brady."
"I don't remember ever pointing. I'm sure there are 50,000 cameras on the game, I'm sure if there was a problem doing that then they would show that," Brady said."I have a lot of respect for those players and for their scheme and their coaches and the way they get their team prepared. Maybe that's just a source of motivation for them but I certainly don't feel that way. There is enough for me to worry about."
Belichick was asked on Wednesday if he had any issues with the way Brady has celebrated his touchdowns against the Jets.
"No," was Belichick's terse reply.
Kristian Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012 for Jets and NFL news.