He participated in the “biggest cupcake department”

Former NFL quarterback Alex Smith has pushed back on Tom Brady’s recent comments, saying he sees “a lot of mediocrity in today’s NFL.”

He didn’t hesitate to mock Brady, and his fellow former Patriots’ “NFL Countdown” panelists took on Randy Moss, former Patriots linebacker Teddy Bruschi and former Jets in the process Jets and Bills coach Rex Ryan.

“My biggest complaint about this, no offense to you three,” Smith told his panelists.

“He’s playing in the least competitive division in the history of the NFL. I mean, you come out of training camp in the biggest cupcake division and you get a ticket to the playoffs right away. Like, talk about mediocrity.”

Ryan jokingly pretended to be offended by Smith’s comments, while Bruschi and Moss smiled as he continued his remarks during “Sunday NFL Countdown.”

“I totally disagree with that. I know he was talking to the receivers about the rules of center field. But in my opinion, the game has gotten better,” Smith said.

“The entire league is more equal. Quarterback play is at an all-time high in the league. You have the best athletes at the position. We didn’t have that 30-40 years ago. And then, he also mentioned the offensive numbers. It’s down. To me, I think we’re in a prime era of defensive linemen.”

Alex Smith disagrees with Tom Brady's recent comments Alex Smith disagrees with Tom Brady's recent comments

Alex Smith disagrees with Tom Brady’s recent comments

Tom Brady’s last Super Bowl was played under current NFL rules

Smith also found it contradictory for Brady to share his opinion, knowing that his 2021 Super Bowl run with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers comes amid the NFL’s current state.

“Listen, I love Tom. GOAT. But first of all, he hasn’t retired that long. He’s just playing. He just won a Super Bowl in the current game. Are we going to underestimate this?” Smith said.

Beyond Smith’s point: Brady won six Super Bowls and 17 AFC East titles during his time with the Patriots.

What did Tom Brady say?

Brady said during an appearance on The Stephen A. Smith Show earlier this week:

“I think there’s a lot of mediocrity in the NFL today. I don’t see the excellence that I saw in the past,” Brady said.

“I don’t think the coaching is as good as it used to be. I don’t think the young player development is as good as it used to be. I don’t think the programs are as good as they used to be.”

“Those rules allowed a lot of bad habits to get into the actual performance of the game. So, in my opinion, I just don’t think the product is as good as it used to be.”

Is Tom Brady or Alex Smith right?

The NFL continues to be flat, but scoring is down for the fourth straight season.

The team is averaging 21.7 points per game this season, which is the same as last season’s average of 21.9 points per game. That’s down from the 24.8 points per game NFL teams averaged in 2020 and 23 points per game in 2021, according to Pro Football Reference.

According to ESPN: Prior to Week 12 of the 2023 season, NFL teams were averaging a combined 43.3 points per game. They average a combined 43.8 points per game in 2022 and 45.9 points per game in 2021.

This article originally appeared in USA Today: Alex Smith slams Tom Brady for ‘mediocre’ comments on NFL Countdown

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