- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- Tom Brady can take the heat -- and the hate -- from Rex Ryan.
Ryan states the claim in his soon-to-be-released book, "Play Like You Mean It."
Responding to Brady's famous quote that he "hates" the Jets, Ryan writes "I really don't know Tom Brady, but who wouldn't hate him? Look at his life. Actually, look at his wife. Every man in America hates Tom Brady, and he should be proud of that."
On Friday, Brady laughed when asked about Ryan and the Jets, jokingly referring to Gang Green as his "favorite subject."
He then addressed Ryan's comments.
"As long as he hates me, I'm cool. He's the leader of that team and the players take after their coach," Brady said. "Look, they've had successful postseasons, getting to the AFC Championship Game. So I'm sure we'll be prepared to play them when we do."
There's been plenty of rhetoric between Ryan and Brady this past season. It started when Brady said on Boston radio station WEEI in the preseason that he "hated" the Jets in response to a question about the HBO show "Hard Knocks."
It continued two days before the AFC Championship Game when Ryan said that Brady gets more help from his coaching staff than Peyton Manning, the quarterback he's most often compared with.
"Nobody studies like [Manning]. I know [Tom] Brady thinks he does and all that stuff," Ryan said. "I think there's probably a little more help from [Bill] Belichick with Brady than there is with Peyton Manning."
Prior to the Jets' matchup with the Patriots in the AFC divisional round, Antonio Cromartie called Tom Brady an "ass----," according to the New York Daily News.
Brady was in New York on Friday to speak with a group of select fans courtesy of the sports-performance apparel company UnderArmour.
The three-time Super Bowl champ also said that his surgically repaired right foot is feeling good. Brady had surgery shortly after the season to repair a stress fracture. He said that he started throwing two days ago.
"I feel good," Brady said. "I feel like anybody who has had surgery and had to go through rehabilitation. We still got a long time until football season starts, and I'm just working my way back. I'm trying to get out there and throw as much as I can and work out as much as I can. That's what it takes."
He also explained his decision to to be the lead plaintiff in the players union's lawsuit against the NFL.
"When the opportunity is presented to me and someone like Peyton and [Saints quarterback] Drew Brees, who are also very notable players in the league, we represent the entire group. I think we're all trying to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. I think that's the important thing to realize," he said.
"We're trying to bring reason and compromise to a very challenging agreement. This is not something that is easy. There is a lot that goes into it. I know a lot of people are hard at work. DeMaurice Smith has had a lot of meetings with Roger Goodell. I know [Patriots owner] Mr. [Robert] Kraft is heavily involved. Everyone is trying to accomplish the same thing. Hopefully, there is an agreement at some point soon."
Brady was on hand at Chelsea Piers to meet 25 fans who got the opportunity to ask Brady questions in an event billed as the "UnderArmour Tom Brady Chat."
Ian Begley is a frequent contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.
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