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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Fri Sep 18 - 12:00 AM | Sun Sep 20 - 05:55 PM

Belichick supports Brady's big...run?!

"Brady Vick."

That's what teammate and good friend Julian Edelman was calling, tongue forcefully driven into his cheek, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady after the pocket passer's 17-yard run early in the third quarter that set up New England's first of five straight scores that turned a tight 14-13 game into a 41-13 blowout of the Dolphins.

"It was the slowest 17 yards I've ever seen in my life," Edelman joked. "It's always fun seeing the Clydesdale run."

On an afternoon where the Patriots needed big plays out of all three phases of the game to emerge out of an early funk, the unlikely Brady run was a fiery ignition. Afterwards, No. 12 admitted his emotions in the midst of what was a dogfight with Miami played a role in his finishing his run by delivering/taking a big hit from Dolphins defensive back Walt Aikens rather than sliding or ducking out of bounds.

"I think it was a play that we needed to make so it was good to make it at that time," Brady said of his third-and-11 "dash" from the Miami 20. "I was going to slide but I was pretty pissed off that time so I figured I wouldn't slide. I wish I wouldn't have gotten knocked down, but that's the way it goes.

"I could have slid, but I wasn't in the best mood that time. If he was a bigger guy I would have thought really hard about sliding, but once I was in the secondary… things happen pretty quick for me out there. I'm not the fastest guy out there so things close down pretty quick."

A day later, in his weekly Monday day morning conference call with the media, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick supported his quarterback's decision, even if it was one that gave fans across Patriot Nation a breath-holding scare.

"Well, you know, I never…I've coached for a long time and I don't question players' decisions on the field when they try to make them to help the team win," Belichick said. "I think that's, that they do the best that they can, they're trying to win, they're trying to win just as much as everybody else on the team is. I'm not saying every decision is a great one. Same thing with a coach, same thing with me. I'm not saying every decision is a great one, but everyone is made with the intention of trying to help our team win and do the best that I can or an individual player can for the team. So I don't second guess those. I think what a player does at the time he does it is what he thinks is best. And I don't second guess him."

That came after Brady himself expected that he might hear some advice from the coaching staff after his rare running contribution.

"Probably tomorrow," he said in his postgame press conference.

In his own Sunday evening press conference Belichick described the run as, "alert play on his part and it was a key first down for us. We were able to punch it in after that. That point in the game, it was a big third-down conversion, one that you usually don't expect to get that way, but a heads up play on his part. He ran well."

That he did. And it's come after a summer in which Brady has worked hard to improve his mobility.

But that didn't stop teammates from having a little fun with their star passer. Edelman was far from the only one with some light-hearted comments.

"[He] looked like a gazelle out there. I wish he would tuck it and run a bit more. But no, we'll see about that," fullback James Develin joked.

"It's crazy because I actually told him, 'If you break one today, you get down.' And he was like, 'No, I'm going to try and run somebody over.' He always jokes around like that and he actually did it. It was kind of good; it was in slow motion, but it was good," wide receiver Brandon LaFell added.

Even Brady's offensive linemen supported the quarterback's decision, within reason.

"He led with his left shoulder; he knows what he's doing," right guard Ryan Wendell said.

The run jumpstarted a victory. It allowed the Patriots to clinch the AFC East for a sixth straight season and the 12th time in 14 years.

It earned the team division title hats and t-shirts, the latter of which include the phrase "Patriots Run the East."

That is true and Brady is a big reason for that, running the offense for more than a decade of dominance.

Sunday afternoon he took that role to a new level with an actual run. Even if it was a run that, as Charlie Weis used to say, could have been timed on a sun dial, it was a huge play in a big win.

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