Less than a year removed from his legendary playing career, Tom Brady expressed dissatisfaction with the current state of play in the NFL.
Brady cited his concerns about the decline in overall “quality” and blamed the soft rules for allowing detrimental habits to seep into the game.
In a recent appearance on The Stephen A. Smith Show, the seven-time Super Bowl champion did not mince words, stating: “I think the quality of the game has gone down. The rules have allowed a lot of bad habits to get into the actual performance of the game.”
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) November 21, 2023
While Brady found support among some, former #1 overall draft pick Alex Smith took a different stance.
Speaking on ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown, Smith disagreed with Brady’s assessment and even took a swipe at the AFC East, where “the GOAT” had the luxury of playing such poor and dysfunctional teams during his time in New England.
“The (AFC East was the) most uncompetitive division in NFL history.” Smith said.
“Tom Brady played in the most uncompetitive division in NFL history.”
Alex Smith brought a body bag to the set today 💀pic.twitter.com/aMzwAKHpKg
— SleeperNFL (@SleeperNFL) November 26, 2023
On the flip side, New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rogers agreed with a lot of what Brady said – especially about the quality of the modern game.
The NFL has been actively working to reduce the risk of head trauma in the game, particularly by penalizing hits against defenseless receivers and quarterbacks.
The impending removal of the ‘hip drop tackle’ is another step in this direction, making tackles from behind more challenging.
As the league navigates these changes in pursuit of player safety, the debate over the impact on the quality of the game continues.
The balance between preserving the essence of football and ensuring player well-being remains a complex challenge for the NFL.
Tom Brady been playing so damn long that my favorite moment of him ain't even in HD quality 😂 pic.twitter.com/tv0SldJWTr
— Crazy Bills Fan (@CrazyBillsFan) February 1, 2022
What did you think of Brady’s comments? … Do you agree with him?
How about Smith taking a nice swipe in return?!
(It is true the AFC East was brutal during Brady’s tenure in the division … He entered each season with six wins virtually guaranteed before a ball was ever snapped.)