Tom Brady feels there is a “lot of mediocrity” in today’s NFL, believing the standard of play is inferior to how it was during his long career.
Brady is considered by many to be the greatest NFL player of all time, winning seven Super Bowl titles across a 23-year career having been drafted in the third round by the New England Patriots in 2000.
He enjoyed great battles with the likes of fellow quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Eli Manning and Drew Brees, as well as defensive stars such as Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs.
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Brady believes the level of play is just not the same as it was previously, telling The Stephen A. Smith Show: “I think there’s a lot of mediocrity in today’s NFL. I don’t see the excellence that 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. I don’t think the schemes are as good as they were.
“The rules have allowed a lot of bad habits to get into the actual performance of the game. So I just think the product in my opinion is less than what it’s been.”
Good to be back. pic.twitter.com/z1MtQexXJH
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) September 10, 2023
Brady may have a point, too, with scoring in the NFL this season averaging out at just 43.3 total points per game, on pace to be the lowest since 2009, not helped by a plethora of injuries to starting quarterbacks such as Joe Burrow, Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins.
Brady says the recent rule changes intended to make the game safer have actually caused more issues, explaining: “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 have made would have been a penalty [now].
“You hear coaches complaining about their own player being tackled. 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 think a lot of the way that the rules have come into play have allowed this.”