Despite Tom Brady’s gutsy run and dive for the endzone against the Chiefs on Saturday, Broncos defensive lineman Antonio Smith criticized the Patriots quarterback for constantly whining about hard hits. (Steven Senne/AP)

Brady a crybaby, says Broncos defender

DENVER — Antonio Smith says nobody can get into Tom Brady’s head. That didn’t stop Denver’s defensive lineman from trying by labelling New England’s quarterback a crybaby.

“I’ve never seen any quarterback look to the referee right after he gets sacked more than Brady,” Smith said with a smile. “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.’”

Clearly, the Broncos are trying to send messages to the Patriots and the game officials days away from the AFC Championship Game.

Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall said Brady’s favorite clutch weapon, tight end Rob Gronkowski, gets away with illegal tactics.

“I say because he pushes off,” Marshall told NBC Sports radio. “I mean, he pushes off and he gets away with it about 98 percent of the time.”

Both teams know the conference championship won’t be decided by potshots — and maybe not even by the golden arms of Brady and Peyton Manning — when they square off for the 17th and likely final time on Sunday in Colorado. Especially with Denver sporting the league’s stingiest defense and Manning reduced to managing the Broncos’ no-longer explosive offense.

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