Buccaneers' Tom Brady explains why NFL rule changes that help offenses are 'disservice to the sport'
NFL Buccaneers American Football
Tom Brady is just one of the many quarterbacks who have benefited from NFL rule changes over the past decade, but the future Hall of Famer doesn't believe the offensive explosion is good for the league overall.
During a recent Buccaneers player chat for the team website, Brady was critical of how rule changes have done a "disservice to the sport." The 44-year-old feels that the quality of play has dropped since he entered the NFL more than two decades ago in part because players no longer have to be taught how to play "the right way."
"A quarterback should only throw the ball to certain places because your receiver is in danger of getting hit," Brady said. "For example, when I used to play against Ray Lewis, I wouldn't throw the ball to the middle of the field because ... he would hit [our receivers] and knock them out of the game. And now, every hard hit is a penalty on the defense. So I feel like they penalize defensive players for offensive mistakes."
“I feel like they penalize defensive players for offensive mistakes.”
Let me find out @TomBrady has a lil defensive heart.
This is so spot on. pic.twitter.com/cbHlpXKCGX
— Carmen Vitali (@CarmieV) September 3, 2021
Brady pointed to a play during a preseason game as an example of a defensive player being forced to protect an opponent rather than the offensive player protecting himself. Bills linebacker Andre Smith drilled Bears rookie Justin Fields because no one picked him up on a blitz, but Smith received a penalty that negated the sack and fumble recovery. He was later fined $5,806 for the high hit.
"If you're a quarterback, you've got to protect yourself and your players. It shouldn't be the responsibility of your opponent to protect you," Brady said. "It creates really bad habits for players, because you feel like, 'I can basically do anything. I can run and not slide. I can throw my receiver into any coverage and not have any repercussion for it.'
"The only thing they're gonna do is, they're actually gonna blame the defensive player for making a good, solid hit. And now the defensive player is gonna feel like, 'Oh, I can't do that, even though I feel like it was an offensive mistake.' So, in the end, I think it's really a disservice to the sport because the sport isn't being played at a high level like I believe that it once was. It actually deteriorates because you're not teaching the players the reasons and the fundamentals of what the sport should be."
Tom Brady, the voice of frustrated defensive players everywhere. Who would have thought?