Patriots quarterback Tom Brady raised plenty of eyebrows with his Thursday night tweet complaining about penalties during the Titans-Jaguars game. On Monday night, Brady explained his motivation to Jim Gray of Westwood One.
“I wasn’t trying to make any point,” Brady told Gray. “I’m a fan of the NFL. I’m a fan of football. More so than anything. I’ve been a fan of this game for 40 years of my life. My parents had me in the stands at Candlestick Park when Joe Montana threw to Dwight Clark and ‘The Catch.’
“As a fan of the sport when I’m watching the game, I want to see good, clean, hard-nosed football, and I’m a little bit of an old-school player in that way because for playing in this game for 20 years, you know, I recognize the many rules changes, the influence of the media, the influence of society. I want to see tough, hard-nosed football. When I was watching the other night I decided to turn it off ’cause I didn’t feel like that’s what I was seeing, and that’s all I was saying.”
Brady has benefited from plenty of those rule changes, because plenty of those rule changes are aimed at protecting quarterbacks and the players to whom he throws the football.
Regardless of Brady’s explanation, his opinion resonated with fans, with media, and possibly with the league. On Saturday, game officials discussed the rash of offensive holding fouls through 33 games of the 2019 season, and the per-game rate plummeted from 5.7 to 2.9 during the 14 games played on the third Sunday of the season.