During a visit to PFT Live on Monday, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall said that part of the reason Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is so effective is because he gets away with pushing off on defenders covering him “about 98 percent of the time.”
He wasn’t the only member of the Broncos defense to share an opinion about a Patriots player that’s sure to be unpopular in New England. Broncos defensive end Antonio Smith was asked if the Broncos think Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a crybaby when it comes to pleading with officials for flags during games.
“That would be an accurate statement. I’ve never seen any quarterback look to the referee right after he gets sacked more than Brady,” Smith said, via the Colorado Springs Gazette. “Every time he gets sacked he looks at the ref like, ‘You see him sack me? Was that supposed to happen? He did it a little hard. Please throw a 15-yard penalty on him. Get him fined.'”
Smith added that Brady complaining about hits wasn’t the same as the quarterback, who Smith called “automatic”, being adversely affected by them. Smith said that while Brady may whine, he’ll remain just as effective after getting hit.
“He’s not going to rattle just because you hit him hard. I’ve tried over the years,” Smith said. “That’s what D-linemen think: ‘The harder you hit the quarterback, the better it will make it on the secondary.’ With Brady, he’s a great competitor. You know it’s coming. He’s going to cry about getting hit, but he’s going to take the hit and keep going.”
The Broncos may be trying to curry favor with the officials by pointing out areas where they feel the Patriots get special treatment. We’ll see if it proves successful on Sunday or if their comments become the latest bit of bulletin board fodder to precede a Patriots win in the postseason.