Whether it’s seven, 12, seven or 44, Tom Brady has a thing for numbers.
Brady is entering his 22nd season in the NFL, and for him things may have gotten a little more difficult with the NFL changing its jersey number rules this offseason. A few months ago, Brady took to Instagram to voice some very surprising displeasure with the changes to the rule, and that continued before the Bucs’ season opener.
Brady still hates the number rule, and speaking with the Tampa Bay Times he explained his reasoning for his displeasure with more depth:
The number rule is crazy. Literally, guys changed their numbers today. I’m playing two guys who had different numbers in the preseason. So, yeah, you’ve got to watch film and know who you’re studying but so do running backs. They’ve got to know who to block. So does the offensive line. So does the receivers who are adjusting their routes based on blitzes. So one guys has got a 6, one guy has 11, one guy has got a 9. And they change every play when you break your routes and get to your spot. It’s going to be a very challenging thing. It’s a good advantage for the defense, which that’s what it is. It would be like saying, ‘What if I let the offensive linemen wear 82 and No. 9?’ They wouldn’t know who was eligible. Well, that’s not fair. You’ll get your tail kicked. At least identify who the D-line, the linebackers and the safeties are. You’re going to have a lot of matchups where guys are blocking the wrong guys. I don’t know why that should be.
Brady’s reasoning aligns with the reason he was originally ticked off a few months ago, when an Instagram of his read: “Good luck trying to block the right people now !! !! going to make for a lot of bad football.”
Brady may have something of a point, after all: The new numbering system may make it a bit more difficult for lineman and running backs to figure out who to block at the second level. Defensive lineman, though, have the same number bracket as before.
The Buccaneers take on the Cowboys in Thursday night’s season opener, and Dallas has several players who have changed their numbers this offseason, and a few new players who are taking advantage of the rule: Cornerback Trevon Diggs switched from No. 27 to No. 7, Linebacker Jaylon Smith switched from No. 54 to No. 9 and rookie ‘backer Micah Parsons is using No. 11.
The veteran quarterback is looking to secure his eighth Super Bowl ring. If he does, add numerals to the list of opponents he’s defeated.
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