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Saturday, November 7, 2009
Brady dismisses cries of preferential treatment


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Boston Globe reporter Albert Breer caught up with Tom Brady on Friday, and the New England Patriots quarterback scoffed at the notion he gets special treatment from officials.

 Brady
 Porter
Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Joey Porter alleged Thursday that Brady gets courtesy calls because he's such a big star and suffered a season-ending knee injury last year.

"No, I don't think so," Brady told Breer. "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."

This year, the NFL is enforcing what has come to be known as the Brady Rule, which prevents defenders for lunging helmet- or shoulder-first at a quarterback's legs.

In a six-point victory over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4, linebackers Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs wailed about one call in particular.

Brady gestured theatrically that he had been hit in the knee right before referee Ron Winter threw the flag on Suggs. Instead of third-and-10, the Patriots had a first down on what turned out to be a touchdown drive.

"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."