Earlier this year, the NFL announced that its loosening up its restrictions regarding jersey numbers. That decision didn’t go over well with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.
Brady vented about the NFL’s jersey number rule prior to the Buccaneers’ season opener. He believes it’ll give the defense an unfair advantage moving forward.
“The number rule is crazy,” Brady said. “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.”
This week, Peyton Manning responded to Brady’s complaint while on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” simulcast with his brother Eli.
“I know Brady doesn’t like the single-digit linebackers, but Tom, it’s here to stay,” Peyton said, via Fox News. “You better deal with it. Learn the fact that a mike linebacker is wearing No. 6.”
Peyton Manning’s very rational take on Tom Brady’s complaints with the number changes. pic.twitter.com/JFiSu39UOB
— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) September 14, 2021
Eventually, Brady will learn how to adapt to this new rule. He’s been calling out opposing defenses’ blitz packages and coverages for nearly two decades, so we shouldn’t expect different jersey numbers to throw him off for too long.
As for the actual jersey number rule, Manning revealed that he’s a fan of it.
“I think it’s great letting these guys wear different numbers,” Manning said. “Let them have fun, let them wear single digits, let them wear their college number, their high school number, if they’re having fun the game is going to be fun to watch.”
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