Tom Brady reveals the biggest thing that has changed in the NFL during his career

·2 min read

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has played most of his career in the most pass-friendly era the NFL has every experienced. Rule changes have generally protected quarterbacks and have made it easier for passers to exploit defenses.

While you might think Brady is on board with those changes, you would be wrong. Brady revealed the biggest thing that has changed since he entered the NFL, and it's all about defenses being wrongly punished by the league when offenses make mistakes.

If that sounds confusing, listen to Brady's explanation.

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Brady believes a fair amount of defensive penalties are actually due to poor offensive decisions. As Brady explains, when he used to play against Ray Lewis, Brady knew he couldn't throw the ball in the middle of the field without risking his wide receiver. Back then, the wide receiver would take a massive hit and probably be out for the rest of the game. Knowing that, Brady had to adjust the game plan to keep his receivers safe, and to give the New England Patriots a better shot at winning.

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Today, quarterbacks can risk those throws knowing defensive players will get flagged if they smash a wide receiver. Brady considers those dangerous throws to be offensive mistakes, because they put receivers in bad spots. In Brady's eyes, quarterbacks should be responsible for their receivers. The new rules put receiver safety on defenses, which Brady opposes. 

NFL offenses rely heavily on the pass

Those rule changes have led to passing numbers exploding across the league. The all-time leaders in passing yards all played deep into the 2000s. Dan Marino and John Elway are the only two players in the top-10 who didn't play into the 2000s. Marino will likely be pushed down to seventh on that list if Ben Roethlisberger throws for over 1,000 yards in 2021. Elway might be pushed out of the top 10 after Aaron Rodgers' first game in 2021. 

Marino previously held the record for most touchdowns in a single season with 48. That record has been surpassed four times since 2004. Rodgers tied Marino's old record last season, leading the NFL with 48 passing touchdowns.

Tom Brady makes a call at the line against the Ravens.
Tom Brady had to alter his game plan when facing Ray Lewis. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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