During his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Kirk & Callahan, Tom Brady was discussing why so many young quarterbacks are successful so quickly these days and he said it’s because the NFL is now pretty much just “glorified college football.” And he has a point.
With quarterbacks like 23-year-old Jared Goff leading the NFL in passing yards, 23-year-old Patrick Mahomes leading the NFL in passing touchdowns, and 24-year-old Mitchell Trubisky ranked in the top 10 in passer rating, this is definitely not your dad’s NFL.
It used to be that when a quarterback entered the NFL, almost without fail, the player would struggle for a few seasons before finally figuring it all out (if they did at all).
Peyton Manning threw 58 interceptions in his first three seasons as a starter. All time passing yards leader Drew Brees threw for 28 TDs and 31 interceptions in his first two years as a starting QB. Eli Manning didn’t break 80.0 for a passer rating until his fifth season. And Ben Roethlisberger threw 23 interceptions versus 18 touchdowns in his third season at the helm.
Very different times, indeed. But what’s changed? Brady has what he thinks is the answer.
“I think it was a different time. Football was different then. I think now, in some ways, pro football is more glorified college football,” said Brady. “Maybe the transition is a more similar game than what it used to be when I first started. I think football now, removing some of the physical elements of the game, it’s more of a space game, you see a lot of college plays more in the pro game than what I remember when I started. That’s kind of how things have went over the last bunch of years.”
Brady, who averaged just 189.5 passing yards per game in 2001 as a starter on the Patriots’ first Super Bowl-winning team, may have just hit the nail on the head.
[protected-iframe id=”0b134730c445e281c9fe3fd351fbd211-97886205-92827192″ info=”https://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/6290/56632883″ width=”640″ height=”150″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”]