Tom Brady cannot stand the NFL’s new jersey number rule, and it could make his job more difficult.
The NFL will debut a few new rules that will begin officially on Thursday when the Bucs take on the Dallas Cowboys. The league announced that they would loosen restrictions on the numbers players can wear. Previously, the NFL restricted the numbers a player could wear based on their position.
“The number rule is crazy,” said Brady. “Literally, guys changed their numbers today. I’m playing two guys who had different numbers in the preseason. So, yeah you’ve got to watch film and know who you’re studying but so do running backs. They’ve got to know who to block. So does the offensive line. So does the receivers who are adjusting their routes based on blitzes. The new rule would open up the single-digits to a wide range of positions, including running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, and edge rushers.
Brady erupted over the rule today.
“So one guys has got a 6, one guy has 11, one guy has got a 9. And they change every play when you break your routes and get to your spot. It’s going to be a very challenging thing. It’s a good advantage for the defense, which that’s what it is.
“It would be like saying, ‘What if I let the offensive linemen wear 82 and No. 9?’ They wouldn’t know who was eligible. Well that’s not fair. You’ll get your tail kicked. At least identify who the D-line, the linebackers and the safeties are. You’re going to have a lot of matchups where guys are blocking the wrong guys. I don’t know why that should be.”
Brady is referencing the Dallas Cowboys as linebacker Jaydon Smith changed his number to 9, rookie Micah Parsons is wearing No. 11 and cornerback Trevon Diggs is now wearing No. 7.
Brady continued, “There’s a reason why you do every single thing in football. And you study hard so you can put yourself in a good position. Now you get to the game, and you’re going to be confused the whole time because you’re rotating what a D-lineman used to look like versus a linebacker or here is what a safety looks like. Very pointless.”
The Tampa Bay QB would go on to add that the league should’ve spoken to the players before implementing such a rule.
“You know, like there are certain things that frustrate me and I say, ‘Well, this is something I should speak up about.’ Things as it relates to pro football, the unions,” said Brady. “And I’ve been around for 20 years to watch and I say, ‘Is it getting better or worse?’ And when I feel like it’s getting worse, I go, ‘What are we doing? This is not the purpose of the game.’
“But there are people who are making decisions who don’t have the same perspective. Not that mine is always right, but at least I want to feel like my point is heard, too. Because some of it is made just for the sake of making it.”