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Despite hits, Tom Brady says he's 'fresh as lettuce'

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Tom Brady has taken 32 hits over the last three games, two of which were losses. This is a scary development for coach Bill Belichick, who has already seen Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis go down with injuries this season.

There is no one on the planet who runs their team's respective offense better than Brady, which is why there has been little panic surrounding the team's rash of injuries. That being said, it's hard not to wonder if the continuous hits are taking their toll on Brady.

Perhaps there's a twinge of sarcasm there.

Still, it was a good idea by Belichick and offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo to start shuffling and cross-training their offensive lines early. Josh Kline and David Andrews have done a decent job of picking up the slack, but the search for an ideal combination continues.

Belichick probably will be faulted for not stacking his offensive line to protect Brady just like he was criticized roundly for not giving Brady enough weapons on offense while he amassed a defense that could stack up against almost any team they will face in the playoffs.

But something always has to give. The Patriots just hope it's not Brady.

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