Kraft: Jets’ talkative style not the Patriot way

Don’t expect to hear the New England Patriots use an expletive
to describe an opponent.

That’s not his team’s style, owner Robert Kraft said.

”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.”

That would be coach Rex Ryan and the trash-talking New York
Jets, who visit Gillette Stadium for a divisional playoff game
Sunday.

Ryan tossed some verbal barbs at Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
in the past week, and Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie added to
the static on Tuesday by using an expletive to describe Brady.
Cromartie said Wednesday he didn’t regret what he said because
”that’s how I feel about it.”

Speaking slowly and calmly in his office, Kraft drew the
distinction between his club and the Jets.

”I’m proud of the way the team is conducting itself right
now,” he said. ”We’re trying to let our actions speak when we
play.”

Brady reacted Wednesday to the comment Cromartie made to the New
York Daily News by saying, ”I’ve been called worse.” Other New
England players and coach Bill Belichick said they’re just focusing
on Sunday’s game.

So is Kraft.

”I desperately want to win this game and I’d want to win it no
matter who (the opponent is),” he said. ”I’m into legacy and in
’07 we came close to doing something that I don’t think will ever
be done.”

The Patriots were 18-0 that season but lost the Super Bowl to
the New York Giants 17-14 on a last-minute touchdown pass.

”It wasn’t meant to be,” Kraft said.

He called football ”a cruel business” in which a field of 12
playoff teams is whittled down. One loss and a team’s season is
over.

The Patriots have the NFL’s best record at 14-2 after winning
their last eight regular-season games, a streak that started after
a surprising 34-14 loss to the Cleveland Browns, who finished
5-11.

”No one would have predicted that,” Kraft said.

He noted that three of the four home teams in last weekend’s
wild-card round lost, with only Seattle winning in front of its
fans.

”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.”

He suggested, though, that the vocal buildup to a game between
two fierce rivals should help the television ratings.

”But,” Kraft said, ”in the end there’s a lot of little kids
watching. 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.”

What if an expletive was an appropriate description of an
opponent?

”Even if it was true,” he said, ”it wouldn’t be our
style.”

And, in Brady’s case, Kraft said, ”I happen to feel it’s
untrue.”