Alex Smith destroys Tom Brady, Patriots and even Rex Ryan in savage segment

Former Commanders, Chiefs and 49ers QB Alex Smith had plenty to say in response to Tom Brady's insistence that the NFL's level of play has decreased.

Divisional Round - Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots
Divisional Round - Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Former NFL QB Alex Smith is a regular on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown, but he may not be invited back following some strong comments made about his co-hosts and league legend Tom Brady.

Brady made waves around the NFL recently when he insisted that the level of play around the NFL had dropped this season. TB12 sounds like most retired athletes, claiming that 'back in their day' the professional ranks were filled with greater talent. Typically, that is not the case, and there are a few reasons Brady is wrong in this case.

"I think there's a lot of mediocrity in today's NFL," Brady said. "I don't see the excellence that I saw in the past. I don't think the coaching is as good as it was. I don't think the development of the young players is as good as it was. The rules have allowed a lot of bad habits to get into the actual performance of the game. I just think the product, in my opinion, is less than what it's been."

Alex Smith puts Tom Brady, ESPN colleagues on blast

While very few players can live up to the standards of Brady, who is the best QB in the history of the NFL, it's odd that TB12 is making such a suggestion a mere half-season after he retired. Brady played in this NFL just last year! Perhaps that's part of the reason he was able to play into his age-45 season.

Alex Smith made this point and then some.

"He hasn't been retired that long!'' Smith said. "He was just playing! He just won a Super Bowl in the 'current game.' Is he discounting (the quality of the NFL in) that one?''

Smith also pointed to the teams New England regularly played against in the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. None of those teams were postseason-caliber, and the Patriots regularly made the AFC East look like it was full of JV teams.

The only awkward part of this statement is that two former Patriots in Randy Moss and Tedy Bruschi sat next to Smith. Rex Ryan, a former Jets and Bills coach, was also at the table.

Smith has a point, but perhaps he better watch his words next time. Sheesh.