On Monday, Brady appeared on The Stephen A. Smith Show and one of the many things he discussed was the current state of the NFL.
“I think there’s a lot of mediocrity in today’s NFL. I don’t see the excellence that I saw in the past,” Brady said, citing lack of player development, new rules that hinder the defense, poor officiating, and more.
“Offensive players need to protect themselves,” said Brady. “It’s not up to a defensive player to protect an offensive player. The defensive player needs to protect himself.
“I didn’t throw the ball into certain areas because I was afraid guys were gonna get knocked out. That’s the reality of it. I would not throw the ball over the middle when I played Ray Lewis because he knocked them out of the game and I couldn’t afford to lose a good player.”
Sharpe, a former tight end who had 815 receptions in his career, agreed.
“These guys throw the ball over the middle, and then they get mad at a defensive player for knocking him out,” said Sharpe.
Johnson, a former wide receiver with 766 catches, also agreed, saying, “They reaching up with one hand, they’re pretty posing, looking good and looking cute. Yeah, okay.
“Okay. The NFL has handicapped the game. They’ve handicapped players on defense to where they can’t even tackle.
“Everything is a flag. Everything is a foul of some sort. They are fining players ridiculous amounts of money for playing the game of football we were taught from yea high on how to play.”
Chad Johnson also provided a possible solution to some of the problems.
“The NFL always talks about protecting players,” he said. “Protecting players, I understand. Safety, technology, the advancement of it and how far it’s come.
“Listen, players are getting bigger faster and stronger. The dimensions of the field have yet to change. They haven’t changed at all.
“So what do you want to give? Something has to give.
“Telling the players that are getting bigger, faster and stronger you have to change the way you tackle, it’s impossible,” Johnson added.
Shannon Sharpe, who agreed with Johnson’s size of the field suggestion, also pointed out that players, who are told how they can and cannot tackle, never get to practice actually tackling.
The entire discussion is truly fascinating, especially considering that both of these guys played receiver in the NFL when the danger was much, much higher for them than it is now.