Tom Brady failed to protect himself after becoming a defender on Thursday night

Dallas Cowboys v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady recently said that offensive players have an obligation to protect themselves. On Thursday night, Brady did not protect himself after becoming a defensive player.

Following one of the interceptions he threw against the Cowboys, Brady threw a shoulder into the chest of safety Donovan Wilson near the end of the play.

Based on his reaction, Wilson wasn’t happy. Brady surely wouldn’t have been happy if Wilson had exercised his prerogative to blow Brady up.

And Wilson could have done it. If a quarterback decides to stick his nose into the fray after a turnover, he becomes fair game to be hit aggressively.

The fact that defensive players are wired to not hit the quarterback gives them broad freedom to do things like drop a shoulder or, as we’ve seen in the past, feign going out of bounds when running the ball and then taking a few extra yards after the defender pulls up.

That’s why people like Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler will say that, when the quarterback becomes a running back, he’ll get treated like a running back. It’s a license to treat the quarterback like something other than a quarterback when the quarterback becomes a runner.

Even then, plenty of defenders remain hesitant, given the perception/reality that certain players (like Brady) get extra protection. Indeed, what would have happened if Wilson or some other defender had flattened Brady? Would a flag have been thrown? Would Brady have complained to the officials if a flag wasn’t thrown?

At some point, some defensive player will treat a quarterback who became a runner or a potential tackler accordingly. When it happens, the quarterback will have no basis to object.

17 responses to “Tom Brady failed to protect himself after becoming a defender on Thursday night

  1. Lemme answer that last one for you. Yes, Brady would’ve complained to the officials if a flag wasn’t thrown. You’re not allowed to touch Tom Brady, everyone knows that.

  2. Anyone having watched Brady has seen he gets special treatment. Whatother QB get s help getting up from the refs?

  3. Or gets a free pass for their receiver to push off on a pass that gets you into field goal range to win the game?

  4. A greaat example of turning a minor event into something. Yes, Brady put his shoulder in Donovan Wilson which is what happpens during most kick off returns where players push and shove. A split second before who knows if Brady was was going to get hit. Saying he was going to get blown up by a guy weighing 20 pounds less and 4″ shorter is a bit of a stretch. I hope Wilson is able to play next week.

  5. I’m a fan of Brady but what he did was unnecessary and bush league. The play was clearly ending and it looked like he was standing his ground just to big time the other player.

  6. Drayton Florence “pushed” Brady down once on an interception return against Buffalo and Florence was flagged for it. Later in the game he mocked the call with an overly egregious “fall” after the whistle.

  7. Not the first time Brady acted as a defensive player. It’s his competitive instinct. It’s a false narrative that defensive players are afraid to hit him. He got and gets hit badly. You hear them salivating to get Brady, even the new players. He’s the trophy.

  8. Tom Brady is what, 44, and still playing at a phenomenal level, but PFT always feels the need to get a snarky shot in at him.

    How many 44 year olds dropped a shoulder into a defensive player this week???

  9. Okay, watch the clip again, how can anyone say that Brady “dropped a shoulder” into Wilson in that clip?

    Brady was standing still and the play was over, he saw a defender sprinting directly at him, so Brady braced himself, did not move his feet, and leaned into the contact of the defender running into him enough that he didn’t get knocked over. Wilson heard the whistle and had his hands out trying to let up on the hit, but still ran directly into Brady. That’s all on Wilson, and if he didn’t like Brady not getting out of his way, that’s not who Brady is.

  10. Having just watched the replay, godnollid16 is exactly right.

    I only wish that after the play, Brady turned to Donovan and said “Why you mad, bro?”


  11. Lemme answer this way. When has Brady ever complained for a call when he is not acting as a qb in the pocket? I literally just saw him jawing with Ray Lewis after a hit with zero looks at the ref. This has become a narrative. People see him as whiny when he plays for calls while he’s being a pocket qb while willfully ignoring his toughness and trash talk when he’s blocking or running. He’s allowed to stump for calls per rule book

  12. Do I have this right? Brady is being criticized for playing defense when his team literally became defenders because of a turnover? And part of the reason for the criticism is because of something that maybe could have happened–but didn’t?

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