Tom Brady said the NFL’s offensive-minded rule changes have done a “disservice” to the sport and caused the league’s level of play to drop since he first started in the league as a member of the New England Patriots.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback explained his stance, which focused mostly on the penalties for hard hits, during a Bucs players’ chat:
“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 them 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.”
Brady mentioned the recent hit by Bills linebacker Andre Smith on Bears quarterback Justin Fields.
“The quarterback messes up, doesn’t see the blitzer, or the line screws up,” Brady said. “I don’t know what happened, the quarterback or the lineman on offense. The defensive player comes in and hits him hard and they throw a flag on the defense.”
He added that quarterbacks need to protect themselves and their players. “It shouldn’t be the responsibility of your opponent to protect you,” Brady said.
“It creates really bad habits for platers, because you feel like I can basically do anything,” Brady said. “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, they’re actually gonna blame the defensive player for making a good, solid hit.”
The seven-time Super Bowl champion is also no stranger to looking at refs to get a penalty call when he believes there could be a penalty for roughing the passer or a late hit. But, that could be just him taking full advantage of the system in place.
He is also known to be openly critical about the NFL’s officiating as he displayed watching a September 2019 game between the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars, which featured 13 penalties for 131 yards.