Breeland Speaks: NFL rules were on my mind when I let Tom Brady go

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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown on Sunday night after Chiefs linebacker Breeland Speaks wrapped him up but then let him go. Speaks said the league’s increased emphasis on roughing the passer led to his mistake.

Speaks said he thought Brady had thrown the ball and was worried about a roughing the passer penalty if he took Brady down. So Speaks let Brady go, and Brady ran the ball into the end zone for a touchdown.

“It was definitely on my mind. It sucks,” Speaks said, via Michael Giardi of NFL Network.

Speaks said he’ll “finish the play next time” and take the opposing quarterback down when he has the chance. He’ll risk a penalty flag, but that’s better than a touchdown.

75 responses to “Breeland Speaks: NFL rules were on my mind when I let Tom Brady go

  1. He had Brady dead-to-rights, too. That really is a bummer. I feel bad for the kid, but he’ll learn from this. He just needed a little more situational awareness, regarding the location of the ball. While I get THAT he likely thought it was thrown, I don’t get WHY he thought it was thrown. He surely won’t make that mistake again.

  2. .
    After all the chaos of the first few weeks regarding roughing the passer calls, every coach in the league must have emphasized the new rules ad nauseum. If Breeland takes a penalty there, the Patriots have a new set of downs with the ball on the Chiefs doorstep. He was in a lose-lose situation.
    .

  3. TOTAL SORE-LOSER BS!!! You don’t have to either drive him into the ground or let go, you could just hold on, keep him in the grasp. Pay more attention to whether he’s still got the ball and stop using the rule as an excuse for your mistake. Though there’s also the simple fact Brady almost never runs (especially from that far out), so he totally fooled you.

  4. I’m a Patriots/Brady fan, but I would think most rationale NFL fans could see this was his concern.

    I recall watching GB Packers LB Clay Matthews to a picture perfect tackle on Washington Redskins QB Alex Smith a few weeks back, which should have been for the win. Instead it was called “roughing the passer” and they ended up with a tie.

    It’s a legit concern – the NFL has gone too far with the roughing rules.

    I agree they need to protect the head, the knees…but taking someone down by the torso is just good contact football.

    I enjoyed the win – but I feel for the kid as well.

  5. Whatever, sounds like an excuse
    He could have just held on to him without throwing him to the ground and he would not have been penalized.

    Doesn’t matter anyway, there was a flag on the play for D holding in the end zone. Would have been first and goal.

    But please , with the “I was thinking about it as I was playing “
    Someone in the media probably ask that so he went with it because he couldn’t hold on.

  6. The NFL loves it, it’s called the prophylactic effect. Making players afraid to do something just because the rules are in place – even when the players wouldn’t be breaking the rules.

  7. Just another way Brady is in everyone’s head. The refs don’t let you touch him so you’re scared to tackle him.

  8. Interesting that with all the penalty talk no one mentions that there was defensive holding on the play that wasn’t accepted because the Pats scored.

    I watched NFL Network last night and they pretended the rookie’s apparent decision not to take Brady down while he had him below the waist while he himself was on his knees was a game changer. I believe that would have been a penalty under the current rules.

    Maybe the kid made the right play and the strategy of doubling three receivers with single coverage on two was vulnerable to even a slow Brady running in from four yards out.

  9. Woulda, coulda, shoulda is the sad song you play when you lose. Pats had half a dozen head scratching lapses that put KC back in the game. That’s football.

  10. New England’s touchdown can’t be pinned exclusively on Speaks. The holding call on the KC defense would have negated the sack even if Speaks had followed through.

  11. Jerry Hughes did the same thing last week, but it’s not an excuse. The defenders need to keep the QB wrapped up and drive him backwards until they hear a whistle.

  12. The unintended consequences of this stupid rule are emerging…..and it’s bad for the league. I don’t want to watch 43-40 games where defenses are powerless and whichever team has the ball last will undoubtedly score.
    I will honestly stop buying tickets and watching if these games become shootouts.

  13. NFL continues to look for ways to change(ruin) the game…it’s hard to watch with all the flags and rule changes.

  14. The rules didn’t keep the Jags from sacking Brady in the first game & the refs didn’t throw any roughing-the-passer flags even though there were late hits and one where the defender threw his whole weight on Brady

  15. This isn’t something new. This has happened numerous times over the years. Vince Young and NY Giant defender comes to mind.

  16. Today’s NFL in a nutshell. A player afraid to make a play because a penalty MIGHT be called for just executing it properly

    Oh, and two teams with pathetic defenses are also considered the two ‘Best’ teams in the conference.

  17. The Chiefs were going to get called for defensive holding on the play, you could see the flag thrown. Breeland sacks Brady and it still first and goal from the one. Big deal.

  18. Give me a break, he should have known Brady didn’t pass the ball, it’s just bad judgment from him, nothing to do with the rules. And of course there was a flag that would have given the Pats a first down at the one yard line.
    Silly haters.

  19. Probably best he let him go because the officials DO treat the patriots differently. EVERY third down draws illegal contact or defensive holding. Even that play had a just-in-case illegal contact flag.

  20. Brady shook him off ran and dove thru two hits for the score not bad for a 41 year old whos washed up as alot the ppl here claim !

  21. Perhaps this child should go and watch some film and see that there are TALENTED defenders who can sack a QB legally. It is obvious that KC has weak and underwhelming players on defense so the kid is just playing like the whining that his teammates do. You can still grab and hold a QB and even keep him upright – you just can’t take a defender’s 300 pound fat and put every ounce into the QB’s rib cage anymore.

    I don’t respect this clown for his whining – he didn’t do his job.

  22. tinye67 says:
    October 15, 2018 at 7:43 am
    There was one punt last night. That’s ridiculous!
    ——
    But that’s what the league wants.
    Eliminate defense, kickoffs and punts.

    It’s headed towards the NBA where defense is illegal.

  23. The Chiefs were going to get called for defensive holding on the play, you could see the flag thrown. Breeland sacks Brady and it still first and goal from the one. Big deal.

    ———————————
    that still doesn’t mean they get in, they just get a new set of downs. the likely hood is very high, but still no guarantee

  24. I think Mr Brady just put himself back into the MVP conversation. Again. At age 41. 🙂

    Not saying he’s a favorite to repeat as MVP but still- remarkable.

  25. I completely believe the kid let go because the rule was in his head however;
    1) what reason did he have to believe Brady had thrown the ball? Have to be a little more situationally aware than that
    2) As others have pointed out, there was a defensive holding call anyway so this did not cost them the game
    3) there were plenty of other defenders between this 41-year-old immobile quarterback and the goal line. Maybe we could spread the blame around a little bit

  26. After reading Peter King’s FMIA, and how the Chiefs’ D played that with Gronk, Edelman and White all in double coverage leaving the middle wide open, it’s not unreasonable to think the players were coached that Brady would never run that far (not that it was far…lol). So once Brady was in Speaks’ grasp, Brady would let the ball loose.

    If he was going in with that mindset, then I could understand why he might think Brady had thrown it.

    Bottom line, if that was in fact the way it went down, he made an assumption.

  27. sojournofred
    Oct 15, 2018, 6:59 AM EDT
    Did everyone forget there was a bail out defensive holding call and this play didn’t really matter?

    Except that Brady made an awesome play and scored so the “bail out call” actually didn’t matter

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  29. If that actually happened it would be a dumb move based on a dumb rule, but when I watch the replay it sure looks like Brady simply slipped the tackle…

  30. streetyson says:
    October 15, 2018 at 6:29 am
    TOTAL SORE-LOSER BS!!! You don’t have to either drive him into the ground or let go, you could just hold on, keep him in the grasp. Pay more attention to whether he’s still got the ball and stop using the rule as an excuse for your mistake. Though there’s also the simple fact Brady almost never runs (especially from that far out), so he totally fooled you.

    —————————————

    Brady was held by the waist. The only way to really tackle him is to pull him down, which would probably look like he’s “slamming” Brady into the ground. There goes a flag. It’s really a lose lose situation.

    Best bet is to play football like how everyone was taught by finishing the play. Don’t let up, don’t let go till the whistle blows. A flag is better than a TD.

  31. Hastyle Eagle says:
    October 15, 2018 at 7:45 am
    NFL continues to look for ways to change(ruin) the game…it’s hard to watch with all the flags and rule changes.

    There weren’t many flags last night. I’ve been watching football since Lombardi and people have been complaining about rules and flags since well before that. What’s hard to watch is when a league tells everyone, under oath in a court of law, that have no evidence of wrongdoing then level fines, remove draft picks and suspend players for doing the thing for which they have admitted to having no evidence proving such wrongdoing.

  32. OK OK – If you actually watched the game, you see him only see the pump fake and clearly let go. I’m not a fan of either team, but my immediate thought was “This guy was worried about taking a 15 yd penalty and thought the ball left.”

    To claim that he “missed a tackle” is crazy. I don’t think Brady has “broken a tackle” in 5 years. To claim that Brady “tricked him”, well, he tricked the other two guys who didn’t expect him to run, but not Speaks.

    For once, nobody is saying that NE cheated to get the win. The played by the rules. The rules have made it difficult for pass rushers to do anything besides swat at the football (and even then, they can’t do it and make contact with the head…).

    Let’s be honest, Brady is a star in this league, and as a star he gets more favorable calls than average QBs. Speaks was worried about giving NE first and goal. That’s a pretty reasonable concern, and it’s also a statement he’s saying. Giving Brady a fresh set of downs was an automatic TD.

    QBs are treated with kid gloves. Can’t hit them high, can’t hit them low, can’t land on them, and you have to do all of this while some 340 lb guy is trying to get in your way. Seems pretty unreasonable just when you hear it said out loud, it’s even worse to actually do your job on the field with those constraints.

  33. It’s true, just look what happened to Michael Bennett last week against the Vikings. He wrapped cousins up around the ankles and cousins slowly fell down and they called it roughing the passer. It is terrible

  34. This is all MEDIA HYPE….. trying to create drama where there isn’t any…the player messed up & is using the “ROUGHING THE PASSER” rule as an excuse for his poor decision/poor play to make himself look less of an idiot…..
    Bottom line is that it ended up not even being a factor as there was a holding flag in the end zone anyway, would have been 1st & goal at the 1 yard line….

  35. Dude thought Brady had already thrown the ball… that’s where his problem starts. Don’t give me this crap about not wanting to get called for a penalty. He wasn’t even in position to get called for anything, he was on his knees holding brady around the legs, all he had to do was hold on and the play was over. Excuses are like…

  36. Brady is the only QB who gets a roughing the passer call when he hands off the ball.

  37. Im a Chiefs fan and let me say a couple of things. First, I do believe him but he should have kept a grip on Brady. He didn’t have to body slam him just hang on. But secondly, I wish everyone would quit all the Brady gets special treatment b.s. I dont like the Pats either, but damnit I respect them like crazy. What they have done is amazing and until we knock them off their perch we should all just shut up and quit whining. I believe the Chiefs have a Super Bowl offense, however we are not going to win anything significant until we can make a couple of big plays each game on defense. I love Andy but we seem to peak every year early and then start to fade while the Pats seem to build up steam throughout the year and peak when it counts.

  38. He touched Brady with 2 hands. That means the play should be over. Oh sorry…. 2 hand touch is next years new rule.

  39. Not buying. Brady has the ball down when Speaks makes contact. He raises the ball and pump-fakes only after Speaks slides off. Speaks continued after Brady as soon as he gets his balance. There was nothing to make him think the ball was gone.

  40. It amazes me that week after week after week we see these claims that Brady gets an unusually high degree of protection from the refs, and so much as looking at him is a penalty, yet, in reality, he rarely receives a flag for getting hit

  41. Jeff Padgett says:
    October 15, 2018 at 10:25 am
    Im a Chiefs fan and let me say a couple of things. First, I do believe him but he should have kept a grip on Brady. He didn’t have to body slam him just hang on. But secondly, I wish everyone would quit all the Brady gets special treatment b.s. I dont like the Pats either, but damnit I respect them like crazy. What they have done is amazing and until we knock them off their perch we should all just shut up and quit whining. I believe the Chiefs have a Super Bowl offense, however we are not going to win anything significant until we can make a couple of big plays each game on defense. I love Andy but we seem to peak every year early and then start to fade while the Pats seem to build up steam throughout the year and peak when it counts.

    ———-

    Great post Jeff. You should be proud of your Chiefs. The talent on the offensive side of the ball is already amazing and will only get better. Mahommes’ ability to throw on the run is a huge weapon. Even after tossing a couple of early interceptions he seemed un-phased and played lights out. And from listening to his interviews he seems both humble and intelligent. Barring a huge injury, he is going to be a top QB for many years to come.

    As it stands, the Chiefs are still in 1st place in the AFC. Had they won last night they would have essentially been 4 games up on the Pats. At least now this will be an interesting race.

  42. What a fake excuse. Besides letting Brady go, he and the media, wanting to further a narrative, must not be aware it would have only been a 2 yard penalty. Great situation awareness. It was the perfect time to rough up Brady not avoid it.

  43. To the poster above who noted KC held NE receivers all night: ain’t that the truth.

    I actually like games with few penalties as long as they are relatively evenly distributed but the Pats defensive backs couldn’t close to hold Hill and Hunt and the Chiefs DBs looked like high schoolers in the back seat of a car.

    My favorite was the Chief literally holding Edelman’s left arm all the way down the right sideline and when Edelman pushed his arm away he was called for offensive PI, offset by another Chief holding Hogan.

    Thankfully, they called Gordon getting tackled prior to the ball getting there in the end zone. White didn’t get a call when he was face guarded and pawed by a Chief who didn’t look back for the ball. Gronk was held all night.

    Alas, the big story on PFT is about the opposition afraid to hit the Patriots QB.

  44. brady is tougher and absorbs more punishment than other qbs with fewer calls so he miscalculated. didn’t matter chiefs were flagged on the play anyway. they lost

  45. streetyson says: October 15, 2018 at 6:29 am
    TOTAL SORE-LOSER BS!!! You don’t have to either drive him into the ground or let go, you could just hold on, keep him in the grasp. Pay more attention to whether he’s still got the ball and stop using the rule as an excuse for your mistake. Though there’s also the simple fact Brady almost never runs (especially from that far out), so he totally fooled you.
    ==============================================

    This is a textbook example of armchair quarterbacking/ rushing the passer. It’s easy to criticize Breeland by people who have never played the game or understanding what players have to deal with in today’s ridiculous rules.

  46. Let’s be honest, Brady is a star in this league, and as a star he gets more favorable calls than average QBs.

    Not true, mid pack at best, if you believe the actual stats.

  47. zappa73 says:
    October 15, 2018 at 6:35 am
    I’m a Patriots/Brady fan, but I would think most rationale NFL fans could see this was his concern.

    I recall watching GB Packers LB Clay Matthews to a picture perfect tackle on Washington Redskins QB Alex Smith a few weeks back, which should have been for the win. Instead it was called “roughing the passer” and they ended up with a tie.
    ——
    Fact….It was NOT a tie.
    The Redskins won handily.

    Just saying……

  48. dcpatfan says:
    October 15, 2018 at 6:07 am
    Nope. You just didn’t tackle

    I’ll assume that either you didn’t watch it or you are so biased towards your team that you can’t tell what you’re watching.

    You can be critical of him for letting go, but you can’t deny that he did. The moment where he intentionally releases Brady is very clear on tape.

  49. I call BS on this coward who is trying to hide behind a rule.

    Wrap him up. Pin his arms to his body until you hear the whistle.

    Every player in the NFL plays under these rules yet only a few make boneheaded decisions like this.

    Grow up, rookie.

  50. Not buying. Brady has the ball down when Speaks makes contact. He raises the ball and pump-fakes only after Speaks slides off. Speaks continued after Brady as soon as he gets his balance. There was nothing to make him think the ball was gone.

    Incorrect. He slid off after the pump fake. Watch it again. I did. I also don’t believe he was thinking about the rule during the play. After the media said it, it was like yeah, that’s why I didn’t make the play.

  51. Yes it sucks Breeland but let’s not forget Brady is 41 years old. He needs to be protected. Next time go after the ball instead of the QB.

  52. If he eats the penalty then its first down on the 1. If he doesnt eat the penalty then the DPI makes it first down on the 1. Or he releases Brady who slams through two defenders for the TD. Actually that third scenario is the one most of us would consider the most improbable. And really all three scenarios end in a TD. Nether defense was stopping anything last night. Either team with a first down on the one would be getting in.

  53. Refs should have called Brady as being in the grass.
    If he would have taken him down they would have thrown the flag, given them a first and would have been just as if Brady had scored.

  54. Calling BS on this whole story…to begin with it was defensive holding anyway and furthermore the replay doesn’t support the narrative. Speaks simply missed the tackle and lost his grip on Brady.

  55. Um, am I missing something here? Wasn’t there a penalty on the play anyway against KC that the Patriots declined? So mute point?

  56. Quit blaming the NFL and it’s rules. The guy was in a position to make a play and blew it. Do you really think in 2 micro-seconds with adrenaline pumping he was thinking about the NFL rules?

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