Jersey numbers are king in football. Players are identifiable by position based solely on the numbers they wear. Size can be a good indication of a player’s role on the field. But in today’s NFL, the athleticism is such that one could easily mistake a defensive tackle for an inside linebacker, and vice versa. So when the NFL passed new jersey number regulations in April, Tom Brady was naturally upset.
Now, he’s finally starting to see the effects of the rule change on the field, and he doesn’t like it one bit.
Basically, the rule change opens up numbers that were previously unavailable to nearly every skill position player on the field. And Tom Brady’s gripe is nothing new. He shared his disapproval when the rule change was first announced all those months ago.
“Good luck trying to block the right people now [!!!!] going to make for a lot of bad football,” he wrote on an Instagram story.
Considered by many to be the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady knows what he’s talking about. Fast forward to today, and Brady is finally dealing with the impact of the rule change as he prepares for Tampa Bay’s season opener with the Cowboys this week. He talked to the Tampa Bay Times recently about his frustration with the jersey number changes.
“Literally, guys changed their numbers today. I’m playing two guys who had different numbers in the preseason. 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.”
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Now, we’re not going to be the ones to suggest that Tom Brady can’t continue playing at a high level after the 2021 season. Many people with true expertise have tried that over the years and have failed miserably. But there can be no denying that 44-year old Tom Brady’s time is running short.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion won with the Bucs last year. The majority of the roster stuck around to see if they can run it back. So it’s safe to say this season is likely Tom Brady’s best opportunity at winning another ring. That considered, his frustration with a major rule change for jersey numbers is understandable. The man has been accustomed to certain positions wearing specific numbers for 20 years in the NFL.
“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,” Brady told the Tampa Bay Times.
This is one of those times where he feels it’s getting worse.