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Tom Brady Explained Why He Thinks There’s So Much ‘Mediocrity’ In The NFL Today

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Tom Brady has finally retired for good from the NFL and he is taking a year to transition out of his playing days before jumping into the booth with Fox Sports in 2024. In that time, he’s able to sit back and watch the league from a distance and, like many fans, is coming to the realization that there’s a lot of bad football happening across the NFL.

In a recent interview with Stephen A. Smith, Brady explained why he thinks there’s “a lot of mediocrity” in the NFL right now, pointing at two factors in particular that he think contributes to it: coaching and the new rules.

As Brady explains, he thinks coaching and player development has gotten worse, as young players aren’t given the time and tools needed to build a successful foundation because teams don’t spend the right amount of time on the fundamentals. He also thinks there’s a lot of sloppy football being played on both sides of the ball, but particularly on offense because of the rule changes that take the onus off of the players to protect themselves. Brady notes that he wouldn’t throw the ball to certain areas of the field against certain teams, knowing that if he led a receiver into Ray Lewis, that player was probably going to get knocked out of the game. However, now the NFL has tried to litigate those hits out of the game which has made offensive players more emboldened, but they still end up in dangerous positions.

It’s an interesting perspective from one of the all-time greats, and although it does have some hints of “back in my day” grandstanding, there’s some real validity in his points. It does seem like there’s an issue with player development across the league, where we see so many guys who clearly have talent and performed at the college ranks struggle to make the transition to the pros. That isn’t all on the players and, particularly at the quarterback position, it seems there needs to be more thought and care put into the infrastructure around these young QBs.

One place where mediocrity now runs rampant is in New England, where Brady noted it’s hard for him to watch the Patriots right now.

He wouldn’t bite on Stephen A.’s effort to get him to say Bill Belichick should retire, but he did seem to indicate he sees something has changed that makes that team not run the way it once did.