We’re 11 weeks into the NFL season, and it still feels weird knowing that Tom Brady isn’t out there playing.
After playing for 23 seasons, it’s a strange thought knowing that the greatest statistical quarterback of all time is in full-on retirement mode. However, this doesn’t mean that Brady hasn’t been keeping his eye on the NFL this season, and needless to say, he isn’t too fond of the current product teams are putting out on the field.
The GOAT joined Stephen A. Smith on the Stephen A. Smith Show to share his thoughts on the current state of the NFL, and he had one word to describe this season…
Brady told Stephen A:
“I think there’s a lot of mediocrity in today’s NFL. I don’t see the excellence I saw in the past. I think the coaching isn’t as good as it was, I don’t think the development of young players is as good as it was. The rules have allowed a lot of bad habits to get into the actual performance of the game.
I just think the product, in my opinion, is less than what it has been. I look at a lot of players like Ray Lewis, and Rodney Harrison and Ronnie Lott, and guys that impacted the game in a certain way, and every hit they would’ve made would have been a penalty.
You hear coaches complaining about their own player being tackled, and not necessarily, why don’t they talk to their player about how to protect himself? We used to work on the fundamentals of those things all the time, now they’re trying to be regulated all the time.
Offensive players need to protect themselves. It’s not up to a defensive player to protect an offensive player. A defensive player needs to protect himself. I didn’t throw the ball to certain areas because I was afraid players were gonna get knocked out.
That’s the reality. I didn’t throw it to the middle when I played Ray Lewis because he’d knock ’em out of the game and I couldn’t afford to lose a good player.”
Granted, the man literally has a rule named after him, “The Brady Rule,” which was designed to protect quarterbacks from low and late hits after Brady got injured in 2008. But that’s really not the point…
Whether you agree with him or not, there is a lot of truth there. Defensive players are having to learn completely new ways to tackle, because if they hit an offensive player the wrong way, that’s a 15-yard penalty on the spot.. maybe an ejection or a fine. Coaching seems wildly inconsistent, there’s like 3 truly great quarterbacks in the league, defensive players are afraid to make tackles… it’s been tough.