Tom Brady complains about "mediocrity" in the NFL he helped to build

Tom Brady's argument about the NFL product getting worse is undercut by the fact that he's responsible for many of the changes to the game he doesn't like.
New England Patriots former quarterback Tom Brady
New England Patriots former quarterback Tom Brady / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady is entering his Old Man era. He retired and now he's dropping "back in my day" kind of takes.

Appearing on the Stephen A. Smith Show, the former New England Patriots quarterback went on a rant about the "mediocrity" in today's NFL, specifically about how the NFL is trying to regulate the game.

"I think there's a lot of mediocrity in today's NFL. I don't see the excellence that I saw in the past," Brady said, citing worse coaching and player development. "...The rules have allowed a lot of bad habits to get into the actual performance of the game."

Then Brady went off on rule changes that have made the game softer in his eyes.

"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 game and every hit that they would have made would have been a penalty," Brady said. "Offensive players need to protect themselves. It's not up to the defensive player to protect offensive players.

Tom Brady complains about NFL rules as though he wasn't responsible for them

This is all very rich coming from the quarterback who originated the so-called "Brady Rule" which prohibits defenders from tackling quarterbacks low.

Brady was renowned for being protected by the refs. It didn't take much to draw a penalty for roughing the passer when facing the Patriots or Buccaneers quarterback.

To be fair here, he does have a point about the NFL overregulating defenders. Not a Sunday goes by without an extremely questionable roughing-the-passer penalty. And the league's fines for nitpicky hits have gotten insane. But Brady isn't a voice with much credibility on that front.

The NFL is what it is today in large part because of the desire to protect Brady specifically as a star quarterback.

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