Tom Brady immediately voiced his opposition to the new NFL rules regarding jersey number eligibility when the change was approved in April, and the seven-time Super Bowl champion still seems excited about it.
The new rule, which was proposed by the Kansas City Chiefs, increases the number of players who can wear single-digit numbers. Brady believes this will be extremely problematic for attacks, as defensive backs can now wear numbers 1 to 49, while linebackers can wear numbers 1 to 59 and 90 to 99. In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times which was released on Tuesday, Brady spoke about how the disadvantage for the offense will immediately be felt when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night.
“Literally the guys changed their numbers today. I’m playing against two guys who had different numbers in the preseason, ”Brady said. “So, yeah, you’ve got to watch a movie and know who you’re studying, but so do the running backs. They need to know who to block. The offensive line too. The same goes for receivers that adjust their routes based on blitzes.
“So a guy has a 6, a guy has 11, a guy has a 9. And they change every game when you break your routes and come in your place. It’s going to be a very difficult thing. It’s a good advantage for the defense, that’s how it is.
Brady compared the new rules to allowing an offensive lineman to wear numbers in the ’80s or single digit because you wouldn’t be able to tell who an eligible catcher is. He envisions a lot of situations where offensive players end up blocking the wrong defender.
“There’s a reason you do everything in football,” added Brady. “And you study hard to put yourself in a good position. Now you get to the game, and you’re going to be confused all the time because you’re pivoting what a D lineman looked like versus a linebacker or this is what a safety looks like. Very unnecessary.
Brady was really tough on ripping up the relaxed jersey rules earlier in the offseason. His former trainer is said to be just as angry as he is.
The offenses will adapt, but you can see why Brady and the others are frustrated.