The NFL announced a notable rule change this offseason that would implement less restrictions on what jersey numbers certain players could wear in games. While plenty of players readily accepted the more lenient guidelines and swapped out their old uniforms, Tom Brady began his crusade against the adjustment.
The seven-time Super Bowl champ has been outspoken about his distaste for the rule change throughout the summer. Ahead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, he explained why the ability to swap jersey numbers gives a major advantage to the defense.
“The number rule is crazy,” Brady said in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times. “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.
“So one guy 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.”
This isn’t the first time that Brady has lashed out about the rule change, but considering his comments came just a few days before the season opener, they turned some heads around the NFL world.
Brady also loves to talk up opponents right before he knows hes going to slaughter them….. https://t.co/A3ftnX5a2u
— Patrick Creighton (@PCreighton1) September 7, 2021
is it that hard to just throw to the guys in the same color shirt you have? https://t.co/k2y0Yxv8vG
— Jesse Spector (@jessespector) September 7, 2021
Poor Tom Brady. The Cowboys defense has advantage because of jersey numbers, not who is in the jersey https://t.co/FF7q6PVKh3
— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) September 7, 2021
Although there were a few NFL media members that questioned Brady’s comments, others gave him the benefit the doubt. Many found it hard to question the Buccaneers quarterback, who’s seemed to master every little aspect about playing the position.
I wonder if single-digit defensive players are going to make more plays early on in the year.
But I totally concur with Brady on this, even if it does put me on the wrong side of history. Haha. https://t.co/XTrYzNI3OX
— Myles Simmons (@MylesASimmons) September 7, 2021
Tom Brady makes smart points here about how the new jersey rule gives defenses an edge. https://t.co/b9W33jwl8E
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaSports) September 7, 2021
The goat has spoken https://t.co/kkcVJDjlju
— Asante Samuel (@pick_six22) September 7, 2021
As one of the league’s most high-profile players, Brady’s voice always carries some weight, but it doesn’t seem like the NFL will change course anytime soon. The Buccaneers quarterback has run out of time to adjust to the new jersey number rule and will need to be ready to go on Thursday night.