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Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Belichick on Jets sniping: 'Let me handle it'

By Tim Graham

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has driven home the point to his players: Do not get into a war of words with the New York Jets this week.

Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo said Belichick "definitely" has warned them. Mayo added Belichick's message has been to "just to let him handle it. He does a good job of doing it."

Jets head coach Rex Ryan delivered a rousing news conference Monday, declaring Sunday's playoff game in Gillette Stadium is about him versus Belichick.

When asked for a response, Belichick replied "I might have a little quickness on him. He's probably got a little more strength and power on me. ... I don't think you'll see either one of us out there making any blocks or tackles or runs or throws or catches. At least you won't see me doing it. It’s probably a good thing for our team."

I'm not sure that exchange registers on the Carlin Comedy Scale, but ESPN analyst and former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi noted Belichick's response was significant in its own way.

"Rex Ryan can't get in the head of Bill Belichick," Bruschi said. "He knows how the Ryans operate. This is who they are. It's how they speak. It's how they get their players motivated.

"For Belichick to partake like that, sort of just adding a little bit of levity is rare because if he didn't respect Rex Ryan, he wouldn't have commented on that at all."