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FOXBOROUGH — It was a sheepish smile from the man known as the GOAT.
Apprised that he has 30 career playoff wins compared with 26 combined for the 11 other quarterbacks in this year’s postseason, Tom Brady grinned and asked, “Is that pretty good?”
It’s better than good.
Brady is No. 1 in that category and has nearly double the next guy on the list — his childhood idol, Joe Montana, has 16. Brady also tops postseason charts for completions (1,005), passing yards (11,179), and touchdown passes (73).
Brady knows those numbers add up to bupkis when the next chapter in his postseason career opens up Saturday night against the Titans.
“As much as all those other games were great to be a part of, they’re not going to help us win this game,’’ Brady said Thursday afternoon. “This game will be determined by the guys that are out there and 60 minutes of football on offense, defense, and special teams playing a great complementary game . . . there’s nothing in the past that matters.’’
Brady, who said the mood around the team is “excited and focused,” acknowledged the experience can be helpful from a preparation standpoint but that execution is more important.
“[Experience is] not going to help me complete a pass this weekend,’’ said Brady. “I think what’s going to help me complete a pass is making a right read against a right coverage and throwing to the guy that I feel like gives us the best chance to win.’’
Brady expressed confidence that the team will bounce back from last Sunday’s flop against the Dolphins, and also in the game plan against the Titans.
“I think we always feel like we have a great plan. I feel like we’re going to try to execute the plan as best we possibly can. That’s been no different than what it’s been all year,’’ he said. “I don’t think we go into any games saying, ‘Man, I really hate what we’re doing.’ I really do love what we’re doing, trying to attack them the right way and go out there and score enough points to win.’’
Landry a concern
Former Boston College standout Harold Landry posted a team-high nine sacks this season for the Titans and has formed a formidable 1-2 outside-inside punch with Jurrell Casey.
Landry is an outside linebacker with defensive end traits, while Casey is more the prototypical thick defensive tackle who excels in the trenches.
“[Landry’s] really had a good year. He’s fast, quick off the ball. He’s got good length and can turn the corner,’’ coach Bill Belichick said. “He’s made a lot of good edge plays, and with Casey inside and some of the blitzes that they run inside, it keeps the quarterback from stepping up.’’
Brady has long been a player who uses a quick step to slide up in the pocket to buy time and extend plays.
“If the quarterback can’t step up, then that brings the edge rushers into play,’’ said Belichick.
“[When] edge rushers force the quarterback up, it brings the inside rush into play.
“So, they have a good complement between their pressure, their players, and their scheme. It combines to be effective.’’
The Patriots wrapped up a perfect week of practice — from an attendance standpoint — Thursday afternoon with a shells-and-sweats session inside Gillette Stadium.
Every player on the active roster and practice squad was on hand for every practice in preparation for Saturday night’s game. The team will conduct a walkthrough Friday.
The practice was held in optimal conditions for January, with temperatures in the mid 40s and a bright sun. One player actually commented loudly during stretching that it felt like “Canadian summer.’’
Six players were listed as limited on the injury report and questionable for the game: receiver Julian Edelman (knee/shoulder); cornerbacks Jason McCourty (groin) and Jonathan Jones (groin); linebackers Jamie Collins (shoulder) and Ja’Whaun Bentley (knee); and safety Terrence Brooks (groin).
Right tackle Marcus Cannon, who had been limited, was removed from the list.
For the Titans, receiver Adam Humphries (ankle) has been ruled out. Two other receivers, Cody Hollister (ankle) and Kalif Raymond (concussion), are questionable.
Seymour Hall finalist
Former Patriot Richard Seymour was named as one of 15 modern-day finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame . . . As Brooks was chatting with reporters Thursday afternoon, defensive lineman Lawrence Guy casually walked by and quipped, “Ask him how that bowl game went.’’ Guy’s Arizona State Sun Devils beat Brooks’s Florida State Seminoles in the Sun Bowl on Tuesday . . . Cornerback Stephon Gilmore was named winner of the Ron Hobson Good Guy Award, given annually by the media to the player “most helpful, available, and accommodating to the media.” Gilmore is always accessible during the week and after games. “I try to be a good guy,’’ said the soft-spoken Pro Bowl cornerback. “You know, no matter what, win or loss, I try to be respectful and give the most accurate information I can. That’s just the way I was raised.’’ Hobson was a longtime Patriots beat reporter for the Patriot Ledger.
Jim McBride can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.