Troy Vincent doesn’t seem to buy Breeland Speaks’ excuse for not sacking Tom Brady

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A key play from Sunday night’s Chiefs-Patriots game had Kansas City applying double coverage to three options in the New England goal-line passing game, which created an opportunity for quarterback Tom Brady to run for the end zone. And run he did.

Along the way, he avoided an attempted tackle by linebacker Breeland Speaks, who later claimed that he pulled up in his effort to sack Brady for fear of a roughing-the-passer call.

NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent, speaking to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, didn’t seem to buy Speaks’ story.

“I looked at the video and Tom Brady moved up and the player missed a tackle,” Vincent told Paolantonio. “He missed an opportunity to make a sack. We have seen Tom step up thousands and thousands of times. In that particular situation, he stepped up, then he wound up running in the end zone. But that is one thing we always want to remove from a player’s mind is doubt and we think that we continue to educate, showing players what their peers are doing to make plays, but in that situation its something we have seen Tom do year in and year out, step up in the pocket, avoid a sack and wind up running into the end zone.”

Even if Speaks truly was thinking about not getting a roughing call, Speaks shouldn’t have held back. He should have made the tackle, and he should have welcomed the risk of a penalty being called. After Pittsburgh’s Week Five win over the Falcons, Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt told PFT that he won’t change his playing style due in part to the inconsistencies among referees regarding what is and isn’t roughing.

Speaks and every other player would benefit from adopting that same mindset. Learn good techniques, incorporate them into your game, and make tackles when tackles need to be made. It’s far too easy for the “I went too easy” explanation to be interpreted as an excuse.

It’s also far too easy for that excuse to be picked apart in the film room by the defensive player’s team, as Peter King predicted on Tuesday’s PFT Live that it will be this week in Kansas City.

81 responses to “Troy Vincent doesn’t seem to buy Breeland Speaks’ excuse for not sacking Tom Brady

  1. Yeah, it will never be the NFL’s fault in Vincent’s eyes. I believe the player, this time

    – Pats fan

  2. When I saw the replays and have watched it since it sure looks like he just slides off Brady when Brady steps up and doesn’t just “let go”

    I think Breeland is making a weak excuse for failing to make a tackle.

  3. Again all he had to do was hold on and he wouldn’t have gotten a penalty
    Even if he really did think he threw the ball.

    It sounds like an excuse because he knows he screwed up

  4. “It’s far too easy for the ‘I went too easy’ explanation.”

    It far too easy for you to be Monday Morning Quarterbacking this….

    If Speaks were to get the penalty he claims he was trying to avoid it puts the Pats on the one inch line…

    The powers that be need to get this figured out asap.

  5. Oh, so now Troy Vincent is suddenly an expert on Tom Brady’s greatness. What’s next, MIT Visiting Professor of Sports Equipment Thermodynamics?

  6. I support Speaks. In the Miami vs Chicago game, Amendola kept fighting off a tackle from Floyd and eventually Floyd got him up and to the ground and was called for a 15 yard penalty on a drive that ended in a TD for Miami. I guess Floyd was supposed to take a man who is fighting to keep you from tackling him, and gently place his 190lb body on the grass with a pillow underneath him.

  7. Watch the play again. Brady pump fakes then tucks in the ball, the rookie thinks the ball is out and lets go. That’s it, a veteran made a good play and a rookie bit. He’ll learn. Not that it would have mattered with a holding incoming.

  8. Of course he’s not, to “buy” it would be to admit that these BS rule changes are affecting game play in a negative way. He probably doesn’t believe Hayes tore his knee up either.

  9. I don’t see why Vincent thinks he has to lie about the play. It was obvious. It was still a mistake by the player. You can’t blame the rule. I’m in favor of protecting the players. I’m also aware of how it’s impossible to try to compare stats from one generation to the next. Offensive lineman are allowed to hold. You can’t tackle the QB. You have to wait until a WR catches the ball, and then bring him down as gently as you can. QB’s like John Hadl and Len Dawson might have thrown for over 7,000 yards and 70 TD’s. But that era was fun too. It’s all good!

  10. Personally, I thought it looked like he slipped off of Brady. I don’t think he intended to let him go.

  11. This just sounds like Vincent trying to cover himself and the league and justify these terrible rules that are in place. You can’t breathe on Tom Brady without getting a flag. The refs let the patriots line hold all game. Not one holding call. It’s about time for the league and these refs to be investigated for game fixation.

  12. vicnocal says: “In the Miami vs Chicago game, Amendola kept fighting off a tackle from Floyd and eventually Floyd got him up and to the ground and was called for a 15 yard penalty on a drive that ended in a TD for Miami. I guess Floyd was supposed to take a man who is fighting to keep you from tackling him”
    ==================================

    Wow, you made it sound like it was a gentle tackle… but in reality, Floyd (who is 7 inches taller & 60lbs heavier) hooked Amendola’s leg, lifted him 4 ft into the air and body slammed him to the ground. Let me say that again: BODY SLAMMED – WWE style. That is a penalty in any decade of football.

  13. Once again, a reminder:

    ALL of this is because the league wants to guard against having to pay out in future lawsuits and they’re overcompensating to the point of mocking the plight of the players who sued, AND the fans.

  14. It was a BS excuse. The QB rule is to avoid landing full weight. Wrapping up and bringing to the ground is done legally dozens of times a week (ie look at ‘knockdown’ and ‘hits’ stats on qb pressures that weren’t a sack.)

    Watching the replays, you can see that Speaks overpursued Brady and does a hop step backwards as his momentum carried him back. He did not ‘let go’ as he only had a hand on Brady’s hip – can’t bring down a 200lb man without actually wrapping up with the arms.

  15. Who are you to say as a fact when he should have done? You think you’re someone special? Nobody cares about your opinion you ruin every article with. You have no experience.

  16. Chiefs “tacklers” (And, I use the term loosely) are generally never wrapping up. They believe or are instructed to throw their shoulders at the ankles of ball carriers. As a Chiefs fan, please guys PLEASE correct this with personnel or coaching changes. I am doubting it is an instructional error.. but Bob Sutton, if so. Bye Felicia!

  17. This article misses a very significant piece of information – Speaks thought the ball was gone and has said as much. That changes the dynamics of the situation completely. Tackling a passer after he’s thrown the ball has been a penalty since forever (1914, I think). It’s nothing to do with the new rules, it’s an old-fashioned football penalty he was worrying about. Speaks is just using the NFL’s new stupid rules on roughing to draw attention away from the fact that he was bamboozled by Brady.

  18. I just watched the video numerous times, large computer screen. Brady and Speaks were moving in two almost opposite directions. Speaks starts to wrap his left arm around Brady, hitting him in the front of the ribs, then slides down to his groin area as Speaks is starting to go toward the ground. Speaks’ right hand swings down under Brady’s leg from behind….and almost gets a grips around the leg, but slides off and keeps moving away from Brady (almost like a whiff). Speaks’ body’s momentum is taking him away from Brady at this point and his left arm slips off too.

    Watch the video several times and watch each of Speaks’ arms/hands. He never really had a firm grasp of Brady. Almost, but not quite.

    To say he let him go is BS

  19. The NFL also didn’t allow Tyreek Hill to be “jacked up” by the DBs which is why he can run free wherever he wants. That’s just part of the rules. Get used to it.

  20. Michael E says:
    October 16, 2018 at 4:18 pm
    Who are you to say as a fact when he should have done? You think you’re someone special? Nobody cares about your opinion you ruin every article with. You have no experience.

    —-

    why don’t you offer a counter-argument? could you even put one together?

  21. collectordude says:
    October 16, 2018 at 3:54 pm
    Just bring back the old rules.

    ———

    Which version of the old rules. It’s changed nearly every year since 1903 when Teddy Roosevelt changed the rules to prevent people from dying on the field. Rule changes to keep the game mainstream have happened from the beginning. You can’t have a sport that nobody will let their kids play. it’s not as fun to watch, but I get why they are making the changes.

  22. From a Ram fan — no dog in this hunt whatsoever — it’s totally obvious from the video that Speaks could have tackled Brady, but he thought the ball had been thrown, so he let up.

  23. If it were Mariota again, nobody would question it for a second. Or Bortles, or anyone else.

    Of course Vincent doesn’t believe him. Brady is a competitor, so of course he too would not believe him, but in Vincent’s case, admitting that Speaks did what he claimed to would be admitting that the NFL botched the rule again. They want more offense, but they don’t want the fans noticing that they’re incompetent. And yeah, it’s not anything against Brady (who still made a great individual effort) that Speaks let him go-it’s something against Riveron, Vincent, Goodell, and the idiots up at 345 Park.

  24. Does anybody not realize there was a defensive holding call in the end zone?

    Also, nfl games suck when the star qb is out? Yeaaaa let’s get everybody hurt and make the second half of the season suck for half the nfl

    Understand why they are doing what they are doing and deal with it…..while actually getting to care about the games in week 13 etc

  25. Yeah, Troy, the game has changed since you were a player. Its easy to say something that you dont know about in this new era of football. I miss the old game but I understand safety is a must. He’s worried about getting hit in the wallet and I can’t blame him.

  26. You NEVER worry about a penalty when it comes to stopping a TD. Never. Take the penalty – in no case is the remedy to allow the score.

  27. Matthias Kiwanuka let go of Vince Young about a decade ago bcuz he was afraid of the NFL’s dumb rules giving him a penalty. Look it up on Youtube under “Vince Young is a god”…..As for Floyd vs Amendola, no he didnt BODY SLAM him. Amendola kept fighting for the first down, so Floyd did every thing he could to get down a man who is fighting to keep you from doing it -it just so happened the forces of physics kicked in and little Danny got flipped.

  28. When I saw it live I thought he took an angle to avoid going straight on and missed. Which is exactly what is wrong with the rule. You can’t hit them low – which is understandable. You can’t hit them high or in the head – also understandable. Now you can’t hit them straight on and land on them – that’s insane. I don’t know any coach that has ever taught a player to try and tackle someone with their arms. That’s essentially what is happening. Players are basically not aiming center mass. They are aiming off center to avoid a penalty. That’s bad fundamentals and not the way to properly tackle.

    I can say for certain I think players are aiming off center and it is resulting in missed tackles.

  29. I watched the game live, and my first thought was that he was afraid of a roughing call. It seemed obvious to me.

    The consequences of that call would have been a first and goal (at the 1?). That’s not a guarantee that a team will punch the ball in, except when you look at the way New England had been playing that night.

  30. I completely believe Speaks. This is what the new NFL rules have become. As a defended, you are dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t. Defenses are caught in a dilemma. When is it OK to hit a QB, and how hard can you hit a QB. If you don’t like the rules, new flash… there is nothing you can do to change that. The rules are the rules. The NFL isn’t going to change because you don’t like the rules. It’s a moot point. It’s time to move on.

  31. vicnocal says:
    October 16, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    I support Speaks. In the Miami vs Chicago game, Amendola kept fighting off a tackle from Floyd and eventually Floyd got him up and to the ground and was called for a 15 yard penalty on a drive that ended in a TD for Miami. I guess Floyd was supposed to take a man who is fighting to keep you from tackling him, and gently place his 190lb body on the grass with a pillow underneath him.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Are you kidding me. He power bombed little Amendola…compliments of Captain Insano!

  32. This whole discussion is a moot point. That play changes nothing in the game. There was a defensive holding penalty that would’ve given the Pats a first and goal from the 2yd (ish) line. Chances of KC stopping a TD from that spot s really slim given it was likely 4 down territory.

  33. This is such a non-story.

    There was defensive holding in the end zone on that play.

    So he sacks Brady, they get half the distance to the goal line and a first down.

  34. To say something like “you take the penalty to avoid the TD” that’s just a bad argument. Of course you want to prevent the TD. What is happening is players are not aiming center mass that will cause an occasional missed tackle. It’s a dumb rule that is getting called inconsistently. Some crews call it frequently others do not. The inconsistency is as frustrating as the rule.

  35. vicnocal says:
    October 16, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Matthias Kiwanuka let go of Vince Young about a decade ago bcuz he was afraid of the NFL’s dumb rules giving him a penalty. Look it up on Youtube under “Vince Young is a god”…..As for Floyd vs Amendola, no he didnt BODY SLAM him. Amendola kept fighting for the first down, so Floyd did every thing he could to get down a man who is fighting to keep you from doing it -it just so happened the forces of physics kicked in and little Danny got flipped.

    _______________

    Floyd didn’t just tackle Amendola, he *suplexed* him. No sane person watching the replay can come to any other conclusion.

  36. There is only one absolute in our culture. The need of the haters to diminish their accomplishments over two decades.

  37. In 20 years, Brady has broken like 2 tackles.

    I’ll take the defender’s word for it.

  38. Got to take the defender’s word to. No way he could of missed that tackle unless it was on purpose. Was a bad play but he had him wrapped up easily.
    The penalty flag came when Brady was on the goal line so the play would of stood.

  39. Got to take the defender’s word to. No way he could of missed that tackle unless it was on purpose. Was a bad play but he had him wrapped up easily.
    The penalty flag came when Brady was on the goal line so the play would of stood.

  40. What drives me nuts is how the NFL lies constantly, and for no real reason. Right or wrong, Speaks clearly let Brady go. Maybe he thought he threw it. Who knows. But Tom did not break that tackle by stepping up. It’s completely obvious. Just like Riveron, Vincent comes out with some nonsense explanation that diverts all responsibility from the league and doesn’t comport with what we all saw happen. Just state that it’s yye player’s job to see whether he threw it or not, and tell him not to make excuses. Stop lying sad deflecting. The NFL is worse than politicians.

  41. Vincent can tell what Speaks’intentions and what he was thinking just by watching replay. Like how the NFL can tell what percentage of weight a defender puts on a QB.

  42. Go watch the video of this play several times. First watch Speaks’ left hand/arm, then watch again focusing on his right hand arm. He never gets a grasp with the right one. Almost, but he doesn’t.

    Speaks’ momentum takes him past Brady and the left arm slides off.

    Never had grasp of Brady.

  43. Andy Reid was asked about what Speaks told him, Brady slipped Speaks grasp/tackle. A lot of drama over a 2 yard penalty which would have been the perfect time for Speaks to rough up Brady.

  44. Collingsworth made up the excuse during the broadcast. Of course, his booth mate went along with it long before they asked Speaks.

  45. I believe Breeland when he says that he let up on Brady because he feared getting a penalty. I also believe that, in that situation, Breeland should have made the tackle anyway, penalty be damned.

  46. Its not just the penalty, its the potential fine. TJ Watt got a 20K fine for basically touching Matt Ryan.

    Also, QB flopping is becoming an issue in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers fake limping is disgraceful(So that the refs protect him and allow his Oline to hold).

  47. What I can’t understand is why you can’t land full weight on the QB but you can land full weight on everybody else. What’s that old saying? “That’s why you get the big bucks!”

  48. A COMPROMISE/SOLUTION???
    I saw a game played in Europe by an “American Football Club.” Its fun low-college level & THEY HAVE A UNIQUE RULE to protect their ONLY player who gets paid any real money – IE the QB who is usually an ex college QB from somewhere in US; They dont have anyone else that skilled/expensive so they invented a NEW tackle rule:

    They call it “TACKLE-FLAG”… ITS MUCH BETTER (exciting) THAN CURRENT NFL
    (almost NO roughing penalties; defense still plays all out)
    and is ONLY for the Kicker Punter & QB positions, who they say must play “in a defenseless position no other player is required to.” They STILL can “tackle” (hard) the K/P & QB…

    HOW IT WORKS
    the QB/K/P’s all wear a strongly attached “sash” (a big strong scarf) attached/wrapped around their waist/belt; it must hang to their knees. RULE=> They cant grab or hit the QB/K/P..BUT they can grab that sash and pull/drag and even THROW them to the ground with NO RESTRICTIONS. Its like watching a cowboy rodeo a calf, and it LOOKS and FEELS just like a football tackle! There’s NO “holding back” in the “tackling”.

    MUCH Better than what we see now in NFL – and NO stupid penalties; but no Def players holding back either.

  49. @eaglesmancave…incorrect. The tackle was missed and speaks felt stupid and heard someone say he let Brady go. He could’ve just wrapped Brady up in a bear hug if he was worried about that and not let him go until he was sure. Big boy missed the tackle. Watch it again

  50. Blame Speaks. Wow. The guy is on the ground hanging on to a QB, the most sacred sports position in the USA and the most sacred (and most protected) player in that position; he’s got a referee virtually standing over him, probably with his hand on the flag in his pocket; he’s got Andy Reid staring at him from the sideline; the entire football nation is watching on TV.

    Also, he’s a rookie; nobody, including the refs, knows the rules. So he let him go, thinking he had thrown it. IMO, can’t blame him.

    – another Pats fan

  51. in order to let Brady go, he would have first had to have had him in his grasp. He didn’t. He was close but his right hand never completed the grasp. And Brady is not in Speaks’ grasp if Speaks has only one arm around him and it is sliding down Brady’s body.

    But people want to make this about rules instead of facing the facts. True, some of the rules are extreme, but they don’t apply to this play because he never has a grasp of Brady.

  52. You Pats fans are ridiculous. The dude (Speaks) clearly let him go for fear of penalty. There’s nothing wrong with admitting the rules benefitted your team. Remember the tuck “rule”? Of course you don’t.

  53. You Pats fans are ridiculous. The dude (Speaks) clearly let him go for fear of penalty.

    you can’t let someone go that you never had hold of. watch his right hand in the video. it never grasps Brady’s leg…and he didn’t just drop the hand…he was trying to grasp Brady’s leg. Watch the momentum of his hand….still trying to squeeze the grasp well after it slipped off Brady’s leg. That’s not ‘letting go’. That’s missing the grasp.

    The video doesn’t lie.

  54. It was obvious to me anyway that Speaks let him go. That’s my eyeball anyway. I actually shut the game off at that point and seriously questioned watching NFL football anymore. And I’m a Browns fan, no dog in this fight.

  55. sounds a lot like Polian saying he had a 1st round grade on Brady during the draft, Ya Right

  56. Collinsworth wouldn’t stop talking about this, but wasn’t there defensive holding on the play anyway? So even if he makes the sack, it’s first and goal from the 2. Does anyone think they’re not getting in?

  57. If they don’t want the quarterbacks to get hit, then they shouldn’t be able to run the ball past scrimmage. since that would be worst, just let them play the game as its always been olayed

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