Patriots owner Robert Kraft wasn't about to take any direct shots at the trash-talking Jets in the run-up to Sunday's AFC divisional playoff game. But Kraft left little doubt that he doesn't subscribe to the Jets' boisterous style.
"I don't want to speak to how other people do things or be judgmental about what motivates other people," Kraft said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press. "But stylistically, I think we do things a little bit different than the folks we're playing this weekend."
Rex Ryan started things off this week by saying the game would come down to him vs. Bill Belichick, and then suggesting that Tom Brady's "antics" after scoring touchdowns had gotten under the Jets' skin. Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie then got into the act by delivering an expletive-filled rant about Brady.
The Patriots? They've said just about nothing, although wide receiver Wes Welker's meeting with reporters yesterday featured a number of foot references, presumably aimed at Ryan in the wake of his foot fetish situation with his wife.
"I'm proud of the way the team is conducting itself right now," Kraft said. "We're trying to let our actions speak when we play."
Kraft is hopeful about this year's playoffs, but is also mindful that three of last week's four home teams were eliminated in the first round.
"You never know," Kraft said, "so I'm always a little uneasy. ... We want to win very badly this weekend. The style of people from New England is to try to let our actions speak on Sunday at 4:30 and not have a lot of blather and say things that, in some ways, take away from the game."
Kraft said television ratings would no doubt be high for the game, in part because of the pre-game buildup highlighted by the Jets' trash talking. But he said he was thinking about more than just ratings.
"In the end there's a lot of little kids watching," he said. "There's a lot of people who look up to us, and so I think we've got to walk on a higher plane. But what's right for some people to get motivated, I don't want to be judgmental of what's right for them. Our style is to let our actions speak louder."