Tom Brady had some interesting things to say about the NFL's rule changes. Many NFL fans are not happy with the league being more strict about taunting, leading to the phrase "No Fun League" trending on social media. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback talked about the rules on his SiriusXM Radio show Let's Go! and said the league has gotten "softer" over the years.
"I think there's probably a lot of shortsightedness," Brady said, per Pro Football Talk. "You know, when I hear that a lot, because I've heard over the years, you know, 'Oh, the game is changing,' and so forth. I think the game changes in different ways, absolutely. It evolves and changes and grows, and hopefully, it's getting better. And at the same time, I think that there has always been, you know, incredible athletes playing professional football at the quarterback position. Randall Cunningham was an incredible athlete. Kenny Stabler was an incredible quarterback. Roger Staubach was. Michael Vick, I mean, I don't know if there's anyone more athletic that's ever played than Michael Vick ... I think it definitely adds an element to the game.
"But at the same time, the name of the game is scoring points. So there's definitely more volatility, I would say, in that style of play over a period of time. You're definitely more injury prone because you're out of the pocket. You don't have the types of protection that you typically have in the pocket. And I would say the one thing that's probably changed over the years in terms of why it's probably gone a little more this way is, and I've alluded to this in the past, I think they're calling more penalties on defensive players for hitting, you know, for violent contact."
Brady went on to say that the game has changed to where defensive players being more careful when it comes to going after a ball carrier. "So I'd say the game is a little softer than it used to be. I think the defensive players are more on the defensive when they go in to tackle," he said. "And I think that's probably adding to this element of quarterbacks outside the pocket and taking more chances, you know, than they did in the past."
The NFL is a quarterback-driven league, leading to quarterbacks playing into their 40s, Brady, who is 44, has talked about playing until he's 50 because he continues to play at a high level. But due to the rules that have been put in place over the last 20 years, Brady doesn't take hits like the guys who played in the 1980s and 1990s did over an extended period of time.