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Belichick warns players on war of words

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick reminded his players this morning to avoid a war of words with the Jets.

"Definitely," linebacker Jerod Mayo said when asked if that was part of Belichick's message to players in their morning team meeting. "That's why I'm hoping no one asks me those kinds of questions [laughing]."

Mayo said Belichick told players to let him handle that.

Already this week, Belichick and Jets coach Rex Ryan have exchanged barbs through the media. Ryan called Sunday's game personal between him and Belichick, saying that's what it comes down to -- the two coaches.

Belichick responded by playfully saying it was a good thing the coaches weren't playing.

Some players, such as receiver Deion Branch, said they hadn't heard of the exchange until today.

"Coach [Ryan] says and do what he do, and we do what we do over here," Branch said. "Whatever you have to do to get his team motivated, I think that's what he's going to do."