FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Is it personal?
Not to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, anyway.
"We're gonna do our best to win on Sunday," Belichick answered Wednesday during his conference call with the New York media when asked if he shared similar views to his counterpart, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, who on Monday said it was personal between him and Belichick. "They're a good football team across the board: good on offense, defense and special teams. They beat the Colts in Indianapolis. We all know how tough that is. Everything concerns me [with them]. They're good across the board."
While Ryan continues to churn out backpage material every day with his flamboyance and bravado, the tight-lipped Belichick prefers to stay quiet and avoid causing any controversy -- or provide the Jets with any unnecessary bulletin board material.
Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie did just that when he called Patriots quarterback Tom Brady an "ass--," according to the New York Daily News. But Belichick wasn't interested in engaging in a verbal sparing match. To him, it's all business.
"[I'm] really trying to get our team focused to play on Sunday," Belichick replied when prompted to give a response to Cromartie's comment.
"He's had a good career," Belichick later said of Cromartie. "Played in San Diego. We saw him there. He came to the Jets -- he's done well out there. Big corner. Can run well. Good ball skills. Like the play in the Baltimore game, he made an excellent play on the ball. Made a great kickoff return last week. Was a huge play against Indianapolis. Put the team in position to score. Then they got a couple more first downs and got the winning points. He can hurt you in a lot of different ways. Good football player."
Belichick praised Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, whom Ryan called "the best player in the NFL."
"He's an excellent player," Belichick said. "He's had a great career. We've seen him have a lot of good games against good receivers and compete against them. He did it again against the Colts. We know he's outstanding. And we'll do our best to compete against him."
He also spoke highly of Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.
"He's done a great job this year," Belichick said. "They've been in a lot of close games. He's brought them from behind like in the Detroit game. The overtime games. Cleveland he made a bunch of big plays there. He's done a good job in big situations and brought the team back and won for them. I think anytime a quarterback does that, that's what you want on your resume."
Asked if he cares about Brady's alleged end zone antics after he scores a touchdown, Belichick responded, "No."
When it comes to Belichick, it's all about the task at hand: winning his fourth Super Bowl in New England.
"I think the Jets are a good football team," Belichick said. "They've certainly caused us a lot of problems. We've played four games since Rex has been there. And we've split all four of them. They've made some plays. We've made some plays. In the end we've each won two games. We know it's a very competitive situation. There are things we want to do better. They give you problems in their scheme, their players, their coaches in all three phases of the game as I said earlier.
"We have a lot of respect for them. We know there are a lot of things we need to do well in order to come out on top."
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.