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What did Tom Brady say about the controversy surrounding recent NFL refereeing decisions?

The legendary quarterback weighed in on what has become a major talking point, but is he being diplomatic, or is their reason to his rhyme?

The legendary quarterback weighed in on what has become a major talking point, but is he being diplomatic, or is their reason to his rhyme?

As much as this isn’t the first time that refereeing decisions have taken center stage in the NFL, the intensity with which some calls were questioned following the AFC Championship Game, has definitely brought the issue back into focus. With that, the seven-time Super Bowl champion offered his opinion on the contentious issue.

Tom Brady discusses refereeing decisions

It would be safe to say, that the NFL suffered some optical damage this past weekend after both the NFC and AFC Championship games were spoiled - to a certain extent - by what appeared to have been incorrect calls on the part of the officials. Speaking on his “Let’s Go” podcast, Tom Brady was asked what he thought about the current state of affairs where referees in the league were concerned. Not surprisingly, Brady didn’t criticize officials, but instead offered a solution as to how the league could potentially reduce the number of controversial penalties, specifically those that involve holding or roughing the quarterback, as well as pass interference.

“The refs got a tough job. Are they going to get every call right? Is anyone 100% in their job? It’s a hard job to do. They’re making decisions in a millisecond,” Brady said. “This is what I believe...there was three terms they used: It was clear, it was obvious and ... prolonged. At the end of the day, that would be my barometer for throwing flags.” What Brady appears to be saying here, is that he’d only like to see a flag thrown if the penalty directly impacts the play in question i.e., a penalty which is clear and prolonged. “If it meets those criteria, penalty,” Brady said. “Holding, defensive illegal contact, offensive pass interference. It could be clear, but it could be quick and it doesn’t really affect the play that much [so don’t throw the flag].”

The pressure on refs is unfair according to Tom Brady

One of the interesting points that Brady made, is the idea that officials in the league face an unrealistic amount of pressure on every single penalty and even more so, when it’s the postseason.

“When you get to the playoffs, a lot of times they don’t call it in the playoffs, which I think as players we really actually like that. We like when they let us play,” Brady said. “Now, can that go too far? Absolutely. If you’re thinking about rule changes in refereeing, it’s very difficult because when you slo-mo things down to the millisecond on a TV review, yeah, everyone’s going to be up in arms about everything, but when you’re monitoring those things in real time, they’re happening so quick. So, I think clear, obvious, and prolonged is a great way in taunting and holding and [pass interference], roughing the quarterback. All those things I think would be a better barometer for throwing those flags.

Tom Brady has experienced both sides of the coin

While it may sound a tad tongue in cheek, the reality is that there are few better positioned to give an opinion on the issue, than Tom Brady. That’s not because of the plethora of milestones that he’s achieved in his career, but rather because the Bucs’ QB has been on both sides of the divide, having benefited from dubious calls, as well as suffered. Point in fact, Brady’s suggestion about roughing will likely raise eyebrows, given that he was the beneficiary of a now infamous roughing call against Grady Jarrett back in Week 5. On that day, Tampa Bay definitely got one over the Falcons. When asked postgame about the situation, Brady famously answered “I don’t throw flags, I throw tablets.” Indeed, Brady proponent of the idea that good or bad, there is equilibrium in the long run.

“When you’re on the wrong side of it, obviously, it’s tough to swallow and there’s a lot of reasons to be angry or emotional,” Brady said. “When you’re on the right side of it, you discount it. ‘No, look, we had plenty where it didn’t go our way, either.’ Everyone wants the refs to make great calls all the time. Everyone wants me to complete every pass. It’s not the reality.”


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