FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Amazingly, it took nearly 12 minutes for anyone to ask Tom Brady about the status of possibly the most famous nose in New England Patriots history.

“It’s OK,” Brady said Wednesday at the end of his weekly press conference at Gillette Stadium. “My wife likes it so I’m good.”

Ever since Sunday afternoon, when Brady was steamrolled by Kamerion Wimbley of Tennessee and got up with a bloody nose, the most-asked question in New England has been: Is the nose broken?

Nice to see that Brady put that issue to rest. And yes, other than a small cut on its bridge, the nose looks fine.

Brady, and later Coach Bill Belichick, had a more important message they wanted to send Wednesday: As good as the Patriots looked in their opening 34-13 win over the Titans — the team’s most impressive opener since 2007, when New England dismantled the Jets 39-14 to jumpstart a 16-0 regular season — it was only one game.

While they were asked questions on numerous subjects, both deftly kept spinning their answers to get that message across.

When one Boston television reporter asked whether Wes Welker’s role has changed in this offense — he only had five balls thrown to him Sunday, catching three for 14 yards — Brady reminded the reporter to chill.

“The thing that’s important to remember is that it’s a 16-week season,” said Brady. “So you start getting up there and playing 600 to 700 plays a year, when you need it most you’ve got to be fresh.

“And I think that goes for all of us. There’s really a fine line between pacing yourself by any stretch. But at the same time it’s Week 1. We’ve got a lot of football to play. And we’re going to need everyone.”

Brady was later asked about the rookies and whether the veterans needed to remind them the season has just begun. Defensive end Chandler Jones, linebacker Dont’a Hightower and safety Tavon Wilson were all impressive in the opener. Jones got a strip sack, which led to a fumble return for a touchdown by Hightower — and prompted Jones to do an ugly dance in the end zone — and Wilson had an interception.

Brady said the main thing to remember is there’s much work to be done in practice.

“It’s a long season. We haven’t even started, really,” he said. “One week down, there’s a ton of football to play. I think the important thing is to make improvements on a daily basis so that when you’re in November and December, you’ve progressed over the course of a lot of practices, a lot of games. You’ve learned from a lot of situations so that, really, in those critical months, and when you need it the most, you’re able to go out and execute based on some past experiences.”

Belichick, who always seems to be looking for a reason to knock his players’ egos down, was a bit more, shall we say, direct.

With the last question of his press conference, a reporter started to ask him if he had to remind the rookies that they’ve only played one game. He was cut off by Belichick.

“Are you kidding me?” he said, almost snarling. “They’ve played one game. I don’t think any rookie has got all the answers after one game. I don’t think any experienced coach has all the answers after one game, either. I mean, it’s one game.

“Everybody needs to be coached, everybody needs to improve, there’s a lot of things that everybody needs to do better, and I would put the rookies at the top of that list. Like, not being behind anybody. They would be No. 1. It’s going to get a lot harder for them before it gets easier, I can tell you that.”

It’s going to get harder for the Patriots, too, starting this week at Gillette against the Arizona Cardinals, who, if you listen to anyone wearing Patriots colors, might be the most dangerous team ever put together in NFL history.

And if anyone thinks otherwise, Belichick and Brady will be there to remind them.

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH