What would the NFL playoffs be without a little trash-talk?
The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos meet Sunday in the AFC Championship Game, and Denver’s defense has already thrown some jabs in the Patriots’ direction. Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall said Monday that tight end Rob Gronkowski is hard to cover because “he pushes off,” and after that, it was defensive end Antonio Smith’s turn.
Smith was asked Monday if he thinks Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a crybaby, and New England fans aren’t going to like his answer.
“That would be an accurate statement,” Smith said, per the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Paul Klee. “I’ve never seen any quarterback look to the referee right after he gets sacked more than Brady. Every time he gets sacked he looks at the ref like, ‘You see him sack me? Was that supposed to happen? He did it a little hard. Please throw a 15-yard penalty on him. Get him fined.’ ”
However, Smith did compliment Brady, too. Sort of.
“He’s not going to rattle just because you hit him hard,” Smith said. “I’ve tried over the years. That’s what D-linemen think: ‘The harder you hit the quarterback, the better it will make it on the secondary.’
“With Brady, he’s a great competitor. You know it’s coming. He’s going to cry about getting hit, but he’s going to take the hit and keep going.”
There’s still almost a full week before the Broncos and Patriots square off, so this probably is just the tip of the iceberg.
Thumbnail photo via John Rieger/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Denver Broncos defensive end Antonio Smith warms up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.