Move over Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neil, it’s football season again and there’s a new crop of oldies complaining about present day rules of the game. And this time, the crusty old farts lodging the complaints are still in the league! In a recent interview on the Buccaneers team site, Tom Brady lamented the rule changes that have taken place during his long, illustrious career, which he believes have overly favored offensive players. Specifically, Brady mentioned that he feels that “Now, every hard hit is a penalty on the defense” and they “penalize defensive players for offensive mistakes.”
This week we found out Brady wasn’t alone in harboring this sentiment. During his appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, Aaron Rodgers, master of grudges and purveyor of game-play criticism, went on to support Brady’s comments. Rodgers agreed that Brady is “not b*tching” and that “he’s actually talking about how the product is less than it was and I would have to agree with that. If you’re allowed to just throw some sh*tty passes down the middle because you’re guy’s not gonna get rocked and you’re not going to put your guy in the stretcher, I think that dumbs down the product a little bit. I do think it is hard to play defense.”
Surely his returned buddy, Randall Cobb, made a living in Rodgers offense going across the middle, lacking any fear. Hell, he made Greg Jennings career out of those middle-of-the-field slant touchdowns against the Vikings. If it weren’t for that hilarious guy who recorded the Madden glitch of “Greeeeegggggg Jenninggssssss putting the team on his back doe”, those slants would be all anyone remembers of him. (We see you down there Michael Thomas).
Rodgers further explained the biggest fear of his life was not being forced to spend the rest of his career in a state where they have liquor stores inside of liquor stores, but rather leading one of his receivers into someone like Ray Lewis.
I think as a quarterback, and I bet Tom would probably agree with this statement, but my greatest fear forever was laying one of your teammates out. Like, the last thing you want to do is lead a guy into a big hit that caused him to get concussed or, God forbid, not being able to get off the field on his own power. That’s your greatest fear because that guy is trusting you with his healthy really. As much as I’m trusting Takatari and my linemen to protect me, those guys are trusting me to protect them with the throw, and that’s why the West Coast offense has always been predicated on proper number and location for the football, and that’s the way I learned and it was to allow for yards after the catch and to throw the ball away from contact for your stud players. So that was the greatest fear of mine.”
Rogers and Brady certainly have a point here but also the promotion of offense has been a point of emphasis across all leagues for the better part of two decades and I for one, will never complain about it. If you would like to complain, I’d welcome you to the MLS’ unrelenting offensive excitement.