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Maybe it’s because he’s 44 years old and the oldest current player in the NFL, but Tom Brady went into crotchety old man mode about the league rules in a special Bucs Player Chat on Thursday night.

Brady indicated that he preferred the way the NFL used to be played when he entered the league as New England’s sixth-round pick in 2000.

Bucs QB Tom Brady

Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: USA Today

“The one thing about football that has changed over the years, which I think is really hard for someone like me, who has played a long time, is hard to watch is … it’s not being taught the right way,” Brady said. “Like a quarterback should only throw the ball to certain places because your receiver is in danger of getting hit. 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 go after you, and he would hit – we didn’t have the biggest receivers, but 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.

“So if a quarterback – I was watching a Chicago Bears game – the quarterback messes up, doesn’t see the blitzer – or the line screws up – I don’t know what happened. It was the quarterback or the linemen on offense. The defensive player comes in and hits him hard and they throw a flag on the defense. So they’ve almost moved the protection of your opponent to you (the defense), as opposed to yourself (the offense), which is where it should be. Like if you’re a quarterback you have to protect yourself and your players. It shouldn’t be the responsibility of your opponent to protect you. It creates really bad habits for players because you basically feel like you can do anything. I can run and not slide. I can throw the ball and put my receiver into any coverage and not have any repercussion for it. What they’re going to do is actually blame the defensive player for making a good solid hit. And now the defensive player is going to think, “Aw, now I can’t do that” even if I think it was an offensive mistake.”

Brady is exactly right. We’ve seen the sissification of the NFL over the last decade with plenty of questionable roughing the passer penalties and hitting a defenseless receiver calls. A similar horrible call robbed Bucs first-round pick Joe Tryon-Shoyinka of his first preseason sack against the Bengals.

Bucs OLB Joe Tryon

Bucs OLB Joe Tryon – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Hall of Fame strong safeties like Steve Atwater and Tampa Bay’s own John Lynch, both of whom used to intimidate across the middle of the field with hard hits, likely wouldn’t even be Pro Bowlers in the modern day NFL. Their games were about doling out physical punishment on receivers, tight ends and running backs who ventured into their territory. Sadly, that is no longer allowed without a yellow flag on the field.

There is a fine line between protecting players’ health and guarding against cheap shots, which are worthy endeavors, and what is taking place in today’s NFL where the rules clearly favor the offense and can take the aggression out of the defense in pass rush and pass coverage. Brady believes the NFL has overreached when it comes to trying to officiate the hard hits out of the game.

“In the end 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,” Brady said. “It actually deteriorates, because you’re not teaching the players the reasons and the fundamentals of what the sport should be.”

Watch Brady’s full comments in the clip below.

 

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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eaustinyoung
23 days ago

Absolute facts. You can still tackle hard without leading with the helmet.

drdneast
Reply to  eaustinyoung
23 days ago

I concur.

SaskBucs
23 days ago

This is absolutely true. I wish more offensive stars would say things like this. Not that it would necessarily change anything. The same thing happened over the past decade with hockey. People need to be held accountable on both offense and defense.

Horse
23 days ago

I agree; Tyron was a good example. Any QB running and fakes that he’s going down or out of bounds and continues to keep attaining yardage should get a 15 yard penalty..

TBChucky
23 days ago

GOAT.. 🐐..

drdneast
23 days ago

If you want to keep having this inane conversation about sissyfying the league, would u please take it up with Scott Brantly, Junior Seau or Mike Webster. Oh, you say the last two are dead. With what we know now about helmet to helmet hits or hitting with your helmet it doesn’t make you a tough guy to do it, it makes you stupid.

eaustinyoung
Reply to  drdneast
23 days ago

Tackling with the helmet isn’t the only way to tackle. Did you play any sports?

drdneast
Reply to  eaustinyoung
23 days ago

I agree with you. That is exactlty what I am saying.

gcolerick
Reply to  drdneast
23 days ago

Insane conversation…..that’s absolute bullshit drd. At the peewee league level, you are taught to keep your head up and never put your head down when making a tackle. Your helmet should slide across the ball carrier’s torso as you make the tackle with your shoulder and wrap up with your arms. Leading with your helmet is a good way to break your own neck. There are a lot of moving parts in football and its not always possible to tackle a ball carrier the way you intend to. The ball carrier might juke you at last second changing your angle… Read more »

drdneast
Reply to  gcolerick
23 days ago

I understand exactly why the rule changes were made, not everyone is as stupid as you. Rich owners really don’t care if poor players break their necks or not.The way you say kids are taught how to tackle is the way it is taught now, not 15 or 20 years ago. I can’t tell you how many times I heard a coach yelling, “stick you head in there,” when I was growing up.

scubog
Reply to  drdneast
22 days ago

“Stick your head in there”. Was coach referring to his ass or your own? LOL! Just kidding Dr.D. “Poor players?” Don’t they have control of their own techniques and career choices? Don’t the “rich owners” have an investment to protect……..including their star attractions?

SenileSenior
23 days ago

Thanks for the report and the analysis, Scott. I agree that the NFL has gone too far in it’s attempts for the sake of safety. American football is a physical and violent sport. It is akin to non lethal hand-to-hand combat in many ways. When a person enlists in the military they always know the possibility is that some day they may find themselves in a combat zone. When a person become a police officer they know that they are subject to assault or attempts on their lives on any given day. It comes with the job in both cases.… Read more »

mdbuc
23 days ago

Sissification? Really? Using that word seems so unprofessional, SR. Just my opinion though.
Big hits to the head are the absolute biggest threat to the league even if it means tilting things in the favor of offense. Who actually enjoys seeing people get laid out and carted off on a stretcher?
I get Brady’s point about avoiding it, but we all know that they aren’t avoided. The league had to remove the incentive for headhunting period.

scubog
22 days ago

All Brady was saying is that part of the onus is on oneself and his own teammates for protection from harm. We’ve all heard about QB’s who “hung the receiver out to dry”. That’s what Brady was referencing. There’s a big difference between an intentional spearing with the helmet and an incidental kissing of helmets during a legitimate tackle.

Gary
21 days ago

“likely wouldn’t even be Pro Bowlers in the modern day NFL”
Come on man if you think all Lynch did was hit people then you were not watching the same game I was.
Lynch would still be force in today’s game …period.
BTW I agree that they have allowed the game to become flag football to a degree.

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