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Broncos call Tom Brady a crybaby - Maybe not the smartest move?

Trash talk can help inspire your own locker room...but it will also likely ignite your opponents. Is that what you want to do to Tom Brady?

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Broncos' own "ninja" Antonio Smith is grabbing headlines for his "crybaby" comment about Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady.

Those weren't actually Smith's words, though the defensive end did call it "an accurate statement" after Eric Goodman of Mile High Sports asked Smith if No. 12 in fact was one:

"That would be an accurate statement," Smith agreed, adding that he's never seen any quarterback look to the ref after a sack 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.'"

And then Malik Jackson told Pro Football Talk that Brady is a "whiner" who definitely "throws temper tantrums."

This has to make Broncos fans laugh - if slightly nervously - because it's nothing we haven't all thought repeatedly.

Especially after the rival matchup in Week 12 when Brady and coach Bill Belichick were crying to refs play after play, looking for a flag. They didn't get one, and they complained again in the days following their loss at Mile High.

"Sometimes we're getting (the calls) and sometimes we don't," Brady said after the loss to the Broncos in November. "We didn't get any last night. I don't know why or why not. You think they're looking at it, and they probably are. Sometimes officials miss it, too. I totally understand that. They're not - I don't know. I have no clue."

Regardless of whether it's true that Brady is a whiner (and it most definitely is), is that what you want to say just days before your team hosts a much healthier, always competitive Patriots squad in the AFC championship game?

Um, no.

In Smith's defense, he was just answering a question in the affirmative, not calling out Brady on his own.

He also gave the four-time Super Bowl winning QB some props:

"He's not going to rattle just because you hit him hard. I've tried over the years," Smith told The Gazette. "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."

Not exactly the "crybaby" context the headlines are making it.

But it seems like a good time to remind the Broncos of a great Teddy Roosevelt mantra:

"Speak softly and carry a big stick."