Brady officially rules out influence
FOXBOROUGH - The Ravens expressed the feeling after losing to the Patriots a month ago. Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter seconded it.
And now, Tom Brady’s refuting it.
On a Thursday appearance on the NFL Network, Porter told host Rich Eisen he believes Brady “gets his own rules.’’ That’s not the way the Patriots quarterback sees it.
“No, I don’t think so,’’ Brady told the Globe said yesterday. “You may get more calls [for roughing the passer this year than in the past]. I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve ever influenced a call. I think the ref calls what he sees. I don’t think I’ve ever influenced a call.
“The refs we have are very good. If they make a call on that, great. If they don’t, that’s fine.’’
Porter was asked if he felt as if Brady was playing by a different set of rules.
“No question,’’ Porter said. “When a guy can tell a ref when to throw a flag and he gets it and stuff like that, he got his own rules. They made the whole [rule that you] don’t go at the legs because of Tom. So when he feels that someone is coming at his legs, he just points at the ref and he gets a flag. So you gotta honestly say that he gets his own rules.’’
Patriots’ opponents have been flagged five times for roughing the passer through seven games. Atlanta’s Jamaal Anderson was called in Week 3, Baltimore’s Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs each drew such penalties the next week, and two weeks after that, Tennessee’s Chris Hope and Tony Brown were flagged.
The Patriots have been called for roughing the passer three times - twice in the opener against Buffalo (Adalius Thomas, Vince Wilfork), and once against the Broncos in Week 5 (Ty Warren.)
Ravens defenders, most prominently Ray Lewis, were vocal about calls they felt were out of line after their loss in Foxborough. Both roughing calls on Baltimore came on New England touchdown drives, and one converted a third down.
Brady said he tries not to concern himself with how penalties are called, but he is happy safeguards are in place to protect quarterbacks.
“I don’t think about [the rules] very often,’’ Brady said. “We’re standing back there, trying to make the plays, you can’t think about it. And we’re not the only ones. Rules are in place that protect the quarterback, protect the kicker, protect defenseless receivers, defensive linemen on cut blocks. I just don’t see it as a quarterback issue. We’re just the ones holding the ball, so it’s pretty visible when it happens.
“We’re all kind of in the same boat there, especially if you run outside the pocket. They find ways to protect receivers, and they should. You can’t just go and knock the crap out of the kicker. We all play by the rules. If you’re flagged, you deal with it, and find a way to not let it happen again.’’
Porter’s reference to the “Brady Rule’’ was inaccurate.
A new rule was not put in by the competition committee in the offseason. Rather, an addendum to the fifth provision of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 12 (roughing the passer), which reads: “A rushing defender is prohibited from forcibly hitting in the knee area or below a passer who has one or both feet on the ground, even if the initial contact is above the knee. It is not a foul if the defender is blocked [or fouled] into the passer and has no opportunity to avoid him.’’
The clarification, set in place last winter, prohibits a defender on the ground who hasn’t been blocked or fouled from lunging or diving at the quarterback’s legs.
These comments were just one aspect of Porter’s trash talk this week. Porter also said he has a “natural hatred’’ of the Patriots, stemming from his time in Pittsburgh and Spygate.
Brady hardly seemed offended by the linebacker’s bluster.
“Some people get motivated by that stuff more than other people,’’ Brady said. “I think it’s just guys having confidence. Joey has a lot of confidence, and he should. That’s a really good team, and he’s a great player.’’