Quarterbacks, including Tom Brady, are definitely creatures of habit, and having a change, no matter how slight it could be, will tick them off to no end (insert old man yelling at clouds meme).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has been vocal about his displeasure about players wearing whatever jersey number they like, instead of being limited with their choices based on their position.
“The number rule is crazy… one guy has got a 6, one guy has 11, one guy has got a 9. And they change every play when you break your routes and get to your spot. It’s going to be a very challenging thing. It’s a good advantage for the defense, which that’s what it is.”
Tom Brady: Getting Too Comfortable
This is the Tom Brady we have that is going to be vocal because he is out of the New England Patriots system, and he can be more of an individual. However, his gripe is nothing.
As a quarterback, you are identifying the Mike (middle linebacker), Sam (strongside linebacker), and Will (weakside linebacker) before every single play. So what if a guy who is wearing 55 in the preseason on the defensive side of the ball is now wearing 4?
That’s not the issue. Brady has gotten comfortable identifying players for his 21-year NFL career thus far, and that’s okay. However, when you are studying tape in the NFL, you begin to understand tendencies and such.
If Ray Lewis were playing today and changed his jersey number from 52 to 7, you’d still have no issue identifying who will be the “Mike” on the play, and you learn players’ tendencies through hours of film study compared to just watching a jersey number. Wear something where it makes it easier to identify jersey numbers if this is a big deal.
NFL Actually Allowing Fun
The NFL has often be labeled as the “No Fun League” due to its many rules limiting what players can do on the field of play. However, the NFL decided to let something cool and unique happen, and yes, the timing might suck to figure out, but such is life.
If Brady is having trouble identifying that Dallas Cowboys cornerback Nahshon Wright changed his jersey from 40 to 25, then that is the end of Tom Brady’s excellence, and he has more significant problems this season.
This is something that players should have been able to do as jersey numbers often have a significant meaning in that respective player’s life. I understand that wasn’t exactly the case for Brady, but many players have been drawn to numbers on the jersey.
Brady can just be using this as a way to drive himself going for his eighth Super Bowl victory (and is honestly what I believe this whole thing is) but having this be something that makes the game more difficult is stupid to complain about. This is actually one of the few cool things that the NFL has done, and let’s not suppress that.