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Tom Brady on Stevan Ridley: ‘We’ve made a commitment to running the football’

09.09.12 at 6:53 pm ET
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Tom Brady -- sporting a bandage over his bloodied nose -- says the Patriots are ready to show they're tough. (AP)

On a day when Tom Brady became just the 14th NFL quarterback in history to pass for more than 40,000 yards, it’s ironic that it was the job his running game did in securing a 34-13 win over the Titans in Tennessee on Sunday.

“I think it’s something we’ve been doing all [along],” Brady said after watching Steven Ridley run for 125 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. “All through minicamp, training camp, regular-season games, we’ve made a commitment to running the football, and you saw it today. A lot of carries by the back and they have a lot of opportunity. When you can control the tempo of the game with running the ball, it really helps out the rest of the team. It helps special teams, helps defense and [time of possession], obviously helps that as well. You just can’t drop back and throw it 50 times a game. If we’re around 30 passes a game, that’s right where you want to be.”

Indeed, Brady was 23-of-31 on the day for 236 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. The breakdown Sunday was 31 passes and 35 runs.

“The toughness of your team is built around running the ball and stopping the run,” Brady said. “In the critical games and the critical situations, that’s the foundation of your team and that’s what your built on. That’s what you have to be able to do. You have to run it when they know you’re going to run it, and I say that all the time. I think with what we do in the run game and play-action game, and you spread them out, run screens, run draws, run traps, spread the ball to all the different receivers, it’s really hard for the defense to just key in on something, and say, ‘This is what we have to do.’ You really have to defend everything.”

Toughness certainly is something Brady showed himself in the second quarter. Brady was whacked in the facemask by the left leg of Tennessee defensive lineman Kamerion Wimbley in the second quarter when Wimbley chased him down from behind and landed on Brady for a sack.

“I never mind a little blood,” said Brady, who appeared at his postgame press conference at LP Field in Nashville with a large white bandage on his nose. “[It's] not my usual look. That was the only good [hit] I took. It’s always fun winning. That was a good feeling.”

Brady was asked if the nose was broken.

“I don’t know,” Brady answered, adding he’s never had a broken nose. “I don’t know what a broken nose feels like. It’ll be fine. I need some of that anyway.”

Brady came out after the third down sack and was given a little extra time to rest as Chandler Jones strip-sacked Jake Locker and Dont’a Hightower returned the fumble for a touchdown. Brady came back in after the Titans punted the ball away and didn’t miss a snap in the game.

Read More: Kamerion Wimbley, New England Patriots, nfl, Stevan Ridley
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