If there’s a strategic benefit to be gained by linebackers wearing single digit numbers, the newest member of Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady‘s defense will be taking advantage of it.
The Buccaneers have announced that linebacker Joe Tryon, the last pick in round one, will wear No. 9.
Brady complained loudly, and repeatedly, about the rule the revolutionizes the numbers system, complaining that it will lead to bad football. He’s concerned that it will be harder to identify pass rushers when linebackers and defensive backs are able to wear similar numbers.
Plenty of rookies are wearing single-digit numbers, in large part because the veteran players with a stockpile of jerseys in their current numbers aren’t willing to write the big check required to make the change.