Tommy Tees Off On New Numbers Rule

April 22nd, 2021

Peeved (?) at new NFL rule.

Joe is thinking this has to be a joke.

Quick background before Joe gets rolling here. In case you hadn’t heard, the NFL (partially because the Chiefs have retired too many numbers and are running out) decided to loosen requirements that certain positions can only wear certain numbers. The new setup is:

Quarterbacks 1-19
Running backs 1-49, 80-89
Wide receivers 1-49, 80-89
Tight ends 1-49, 80-90
Offensive line 50-79
Defensive line 50-79, 90-99
Linebackers 1-59, 90-99
Defensive backs 1-49
Kickers 1-19
Punters 1-19

Joe is upset only because of two things:

Quarterbacks, unlike the pre-1970s, cannot wear No. 20 or No. 22 and defensive ends cannot wear single digits. Joe always thinks it is cool to see college defensive ends (often from Penn State or South Carolina), wearing single-digit numbers.

So this new rule seemingly was met with widespread embrace from players. Even Playoff Lenny is stoked.

But guess who isn’t? That would be park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking, tequila-shooting, smartphone-phobic, waffle-grilling, trophy-throwing, roller-coaster-scared, Bucs-Super-Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady.

This morning, Brady took to Instagram (twice) and unloaded on the NFL thinking this new rule will directly lead to godawful blocking and a rash of mistakes.

“Good luck trying to block the right people now!! !! going to make for a lot of bad football.”

Joe doesn’t understand this at all. Block the wrong people? C’mon Tom, you are better than this! How about blocking someone with a different-colored jersey?

Moments later, Brady threw up another Instagram story continuing to vent over the new number rule.

“DUMB Why not let the linemen wear whatever they want too? Why have numbers? Just have colored jerseys…why not wear the same number?…DUMB”

Brady directed his last post to the NFL and the NFLPA’s Instagram account too.

Look, on the scale of 1 to 100 of the awful things going on in our nation right now, this may be No. 84, below McDonald’s discontinuing sales of sausage McMuffins 24/7 but just above Wolf Van Halen’s thin-skinned, constant social media beefs.

Are you trying to tell Joe that Brady cannot familiarize himself with his opponent’s roster 30 minutes before a game? Or is Brady confessing he’s colorblind or has visual dyslexia — difficult for Joe to believe Brady suffers from those maladies.

How in the world can college and high school football quarterbacks survive with all sorts of different numbers being worn by defenders?

Man up! Adapt, adjust and overcome. It’s not like the NFL is trying to persecute quarterbacks.

Joe has a hunch if Brady can overcome starting anew at the age of 43 with a new team with no offseason work or preseason games, Brady can somehow figure out a way to notice an opposing defense wears a different-colored jersey and/or figure out who is a linebacker and who is a cornerback.

51 Responses to “Tommy Tees Off On New Numbers Rule”

  1. DoooshLaRue Says:

    What’s not fair is that Durable Donnie can’t wear number 1.
    Because he is you know……

  2. Bucfanforever Says:

    I thought the rule was introduced by the Chiefs to further confuse officials and defenses when they run non traditional formations.

  3. Kentucky Buc Says:

    It’s officially time for u to get a life Doosh.

  4. Medicated Pete Says:

    That cantankerous tweet is the 1st sign that TB12 is a geezer

  5. JGhotier Says:

    I don’t care for it. The NFL is going to look just like CFB out there

  6. SlyPirate Says:

    The difference between success and failure at an elite level, like the NFL, comes down to execution. Execution at TB12’s level comes down to the smallest details. We heard about Tom’s attention to detail from the Bucs players all year.

    I read this and think there is so much the common person doesn’t understand about the “game within the game”.

  7. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Could just be the tequila talking!

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The only problem I have with it is that we will likely soon see……”NFL jersey number complaining” added to Tom Brady’s long list of ridiculous monikers.

    If you do, Joe….please abbreviate.

  9. Chuckstutz Says:

    I can guarantee you it will make it more difficult to watch the game. I liked how it was at least you knew what position you were looking at , not anymore.
    I don’t like it at all.

  10. DaBux Says:

    I’d love for our RBs, TEs, and WRs to come out for the New Orleans game with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. That way when asked why, BA can say it was in honor of Jameis to help him learn his progressions.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    I can see where Tom Brady is coming from, and I don’t think he’s being ‘cantankerous’ at all Medicated. With helmets & face masks & visors, combined with plentiful substitutions, it’s probably tough for QBs to keep track of who’s who out there (and especially when there are 31 other teams of 53 players each to ‘memorize’?). I personally appreciate Tom’s being a stickler for ‘attention to detail’. It’s served him … and us … well.

    Personally think that Bucfanforever is onto something in speculating that “the rule was introduced by the Chiefs to further confuse officials and defenses when they run non traditional formations”. The Chiefs ‘retiring too many numbers’ is most likely a smokescreen (NFL could’ve just as easily told them to unretire them).

    And from this fan’s perspective, whenever I see a number in the 60’s or 70’s blocking, I feel safe in assuming that it’s an OLineman doing his job. Same with a number in the 80’s (TE doing his job). I may not know which player it is, but I can at least tell what position group it is. Kiss that goodbye with this new rule. No way this old goat is gonna memorize 1,696 names to go with all those numbers.

  12. IrishMist Says:

    Brady coming up to the line: OK 51s the Mike… No 27….No 3… Dagnabbit!!

  13. Buczilla Says:

    I’ve noticed that as I’ve gotten older, stupid little things like this get under my skin, whereas before I would have cared less. Happens to the best of us. Bitch all ya want Tom, everyone’s doing it nowadays over things even less significant than this. 😜

  14. Sapp, STFU Says:

    Defense Rules: this is exactly what my son and I are thinking. Like a speed reader, who skims the paragraphs and picks up certain patterns to form comprehension, elite QBs rely on their rapid comprehension to read the situation. Brady only reads the first number of the jersey. If players on defense are going to a single number, it slows down the read., therefore his cannot be as quick to call his audible or adjust before the snap.

  15. TheBradyBunch Says:

    Buczilla this isn’t a stupid little thing. Brady is the GOAT and a big reason for that is his attention to detail. Defenses run numerous packages to try and confuse the offense. If Brady is trying to figure out if it is a LB or a safety sliding outside it could make it much more difficult for Brady to make the proper audibles and progressions in the milliseconds he has to make these decisions. Brady is annoyed by it for a reason and Joe isn’t because he never was an NFL QB.

  16. WyomingBucsFan Says:

    How dare the Joe’s question anything Tom Brady says! I’m not being sarcastic at all! How dare you! This man is the greatest of all time! Maybe the Joe’s should shut up and listen to him.

  17. Mitch Says:

    Like others have stated I think he is upset because it is going to be a size-able adjustment to his pre-snap reads.

  18. Dewey Selmon Says:

    What would happen if Gabbert retires next year and someone takes #11. Ryan Grffen doesn’t resign and someone take #4 and Brady retires and his number is retired. This all happpens and the other players have taken every other number between 1-19. What number would the new QB’s wear? Anyone see what I am seeing?

  19. Admiral Redbeard Says:

    No more Vita Vea on offense. Could be that’s what TB12 is really pissed about.

  20. Weston Says:

    Probably something Tom relies on instinctively. Bummer

  21. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Just more tradition kicked to the curb…it’ll look like the XFL soon

  22. WillieG Says:

    Joe writes a lot of good stuff, but there are times when he writes things that make me question his knowledge of the game, or even his common sense. This is one of those times. With apologies to Joe.

  23. tbbucs3 Says:

    “I don’t care for it. The NFL is going to look just like CFB out there”

    It pretty much already does between the guady QB passing numbers and the decline of the pro style offense.

  24. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Yeah, don’t care for it. Too college like for me but hey I’m old like Tom. Lol. Helmet cams are next.

  25. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Yeah, don’t care for it. What’s next helmet cams ?

  26. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Oh yeah , I forgot to add. Get off my freakin lawn !!

  27. BigMacAttack Says:

    Velcro and spare numbers on hand for Vita Vea. Maybe throw in some letters 88Z or start using Roman Numerals. Chinese even better, wu ba passes to si san. Why fix something that isn’t broken? If they want to fix something, set some uniform standards for Officials and hire refs that aren’t brain dead to implement them.

  28. Timbo Slice Says:

    Honestly who cares though

  29. hope in one hand... Says:

    Yeah the no chance for Vea in goal line packages is the only real thing to cry about

  30. lambchop Says:

    I don’t think he’s specifically talking about himself. He is worried about the knucklehead OL and RBs who already waffle on pass protection cause they can’t figure out who’s rushing pre-snap. It’s a matter of inches of being in the correct position as the ball is snapped. It’s going to add one more bit of information to process pre-snap, in a game of split-second decisions. 1-79 and 90-99 is a huge range.

    For 20+ years, I’m pretty sure pre-snap reads were automatic for him, and he pretty much knew which numbers on which team were designated rushers for that team. Now, if those same players don a new number, it’s going to force him to relearn something that was automatic.

    This disrupts timing of the pre-snap read, sliding protection, gives defenses the option to sneak in offensive players in defensive positions, and possibly have referees scratching their heads too.

    When Troy Brown played DB for the Patriots, an opposing QB knew right away where to attack because a (80s number) WR was on the field playing DB. He might have been serviceable, but he ain’t “The Island.” That’s a split-second decision to take a chance on his side of the field for a QB.

  31. lambchop Says:

    @hope in one hand,

    Vita Vea can still lineup in goal line packages. He just can’t wear the number 50 and be designated a RB on paper. You can substitute whomever.

  32. Bojim Says:

    Getting crusty in his old age.

  33. Reddington Neck Shores Says:

    GOAT be trolling the chiefs – “ oh no it’s so hard we have so many retired jerseys” with Homer Simpson flapping his hands and his trademark high pitched make fun of you voice. It’s so awesome now poor Tommy can’t tell who is rushing the passer so maybe he’s old and washed up really and this will prove it. LOL love me some avocado tequila on a Thursday

  34. lambchop Says:

    WR, RB, FB, TE numbers have overlapped with DB and LB numbers.

    Confusion City.

    Murphy’s Law: “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.”

  35. Fred mcneil Says:

    What I liked about the old system is I knew who the other teams linebackers and dlinemen and secondary I was looking at.
    I don’t like having a nose guard with number 50.
    I don’t like having an inside lb with number 45 and on and on.

  36. Rod Munch Says:

    Brady is talking about his offensive lineman knowing who is who, it’s much easier to look up and see a number in the 5’s and know it’s a LB, as opposed to looking up and seeing 23 and thinking it’s a corner or a safety and not Ray Lewis with a knife. I completely understand what he’s saying, and he’s right.

  37. gotbbucs Says:

    Was the old system broken? No. Then why fix it.

    This is just the NFL higher up’s doing what they do best, messing around with a good product and trying to bastardize it. They don’t know how to just let an offseason go by without F’ing around with the game.

    I see exactly where Brady is coming from. It’s second nature for him to scan the field post snap and be able to find the mismatches in a split second because he knows which position is wearing which number grouping. Now linebackers, safeties, and corners can end up being an unrecognizable jumbled up mess in the flash of time he has to make a decision.

    I’m not surprised at all that Joe doesn’t understand what the big deal is. The NFL game is played at such a ridiculously faster speed than even the best college programs. Comparing highschool and college to the NFL like it’s the same game oozes ignorance.

  38. BUC IT Says:

    Joe….I’m kinda joking but for the most part I’m kinda serious. Do not contradict the Lombardi boat throwing goat ever again! If Tom don’t like it…. we don’t like it? Do you understand?

  39. cmurda Says:

    The number rule and all the terrible officiating is why we lost Super Bowl LV.


    Chiefs fans everywhere

  40. CocoaBeachBuc Says:

    Cmurda gets to drop the mic tonight!

  41. CocoaBeachBuc Says:

    Apparently typing ‘cmurda’ puts me into moderation…lmbo

  42. adam from ny Says:

    tequila tom goin’ off !!!

  43. BradyBucs Says:


    This is a terrible change the Pro game which is a much faster game and requires a different level of being able to execute plays.

    Not quickly being able to discern when a corner or safety is coming on a blitz (and then there being one-on-ones open) and/or a low number LB dropping into coverage (or using a number usually used for a safety or corner) it can easily be confusing to read Defenses as they develop.

    Same goes for RBs or TEs having certain position blocking responsibilities. It certainly can get confusing if someone thinks their job is to block a safety or corner should they come on a blitz outside, yet it’s a LB with a low number adding to the confusion.

    Tom has a very valid point if you really think about it.

  44. 6throundpick Says:

    Amazing how many people claim to know and understand the game better than TB12…what a curiousity. Consider that it’s more than what the average viewer thinks on the field.

  45. PSL Bob Says:

    Oh Joe! I’m late to the post on this one, but I can’t believe you just told Tom Brady, the GOAT, to man up. I get there are more important things in the world and in football to get worked up about, but you can’t be nurturing good karma on this one.

  46. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Amazing that so many supposedly knowledgeable football writers and analysts don’t get why he’s pissed. I guess it doesn’t matter if your a QB who doesn’t read defenses and just runs around and flings the ball downfield. College football is just bad and the NFL shouldn’t take anything from it.

  47. Bucsfanman Says:

    Personally, I think it’s waaaaay overblown! Remember, football is THEIR JOB!!!
    Yeah, I get that it may create some confusion but, are we to believe that teams are not going to do their “due diligence” when scouting? I’m fairly certain that there are rules in place regarding switching numbers throughout the season.
    Again, football is their JOB.

  48. kaimaru Says:

    Tom Brady to Joe: “And I’m not soft!”

  49. BUCFAN4LIFE Says:

    Gotta’ agree with Sky Pilot .

  50. BUCFAN4LIFE Says:

    “DaBux” , on point . LMAO !

  51. BUCFAN4LIFE Says:

    The “Chiefs have retired too many numbers” ? I didn’t realize they had that many former players who are in the HOF .