Tom Brady, who retired from the NFL this offseason after an incredible 23-year career, has given fans a preview of where he will be in the booth before taking on an analyst role next season. What I brought
Legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady says the league’s current state of affairs is “mediocre” compared to his early and prime days in the sport.
Brady retired from the NFL for the second time before the start of the 2023 season at the age of 46. He was in the league for 23 years and won seven Super Bowls while playing at an extremely high level. Unlike his initially announced retirement in 2022, he has shown no signs of returning despite speculation.
The former New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently taking a year off before returning to football to join Fox Sports as an analyst for the 2024 season.
Prior to taking on the role, Brady seemed to be showing off a new side of his personality. He broke from his typically more conservative analysis to reveal his thoughts on the current state of the league and didn’t like what he saw.
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“There’s a lot of mediocrity in the NFL today – I don’t see the excellence that I saw in the past,” Brady told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on his podcast.
“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 think, in my opinion, the product isn’t as good as it used to be.”
Brady’s comments back up some of the NFL’s statistics from last season, with scoring across the league dropping significantly from what we’ve seen over the past decade. To be fair, though, the defense has improved after spending the past 10 years on the receiving end.
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As the league continues to change rules to protect quarterbacks and punish defensive players, it’s happening far more often than Brady has in his career.
Brady added: “Those rules allow a lot of bad habits to be incorporated into their performances.
“I look at players like Ray Lewis, Rodney Harrison and Ronnie Lott who have impacted the game in some way. Every hit from those guys is going to be a penalty (in today’s game) in the NFL).
“You hear coaches say their own players are being tackled…why don’t they talk to their players about how to protect themselves?
“We’ve been working on the basics of these things in the past. Now they’re trying to be policed. Offensive players need to protect themselves, defensive players need to protect themselves.
“I didn’t throw the ball into certain areas because I was worried about players getting knocked out. Playing against Ray Lewis, I would never throw the ball up the middle because I couldn’t lose a good player.”