Tom Brady says he doesn’t benefit more from roughing the passer penalties

Because he is a pocket passer, the Bucs quarterback knows the flag dropped on the Falcons’ Grady Jarrett is rare.
Bucs quarterback Tom Brady is sacked by Falcons defensive end Grady Jarrett during the fourth quarter of Sunday's game at Raymond James Stadium.
Bucs quarterback Tom Brady is sacked by Falcons defensive end Grady Jarrett during the fourth quarter of Sunday's game at Raymond James Stadium. [ CHRIS O'MEARA | AP ]
Published Oct. 10, 2022|Updated Oct. 10, 2022

TAMPA — Tom Brady said he saw Grady Jarrett in his dreams ― make that nightmares ― because the Falcons defensive tackle spent so much so much time in the Bucs’ backfield Sunday.

“I woke up this morning, I was looking around the corner everywhere for Grady Jarrett jumping out and hitting me again,” Brady said on his “Let’s Go!” podcast with Jim Gray on Monday. “He played such a great game against us (Sunday) and I had nightmares last night kind of thinking about him. But I’m glad we’re through with that game and I’m glad we won.”

The Bucs won 21-15 in no small part because following his second sack of the game, Jarrett was flagged for a controversial roughing the passer penalty.

Brady reiterated Monday that he had nothing to do with referee Jerome Boger dropping the flag on Jarrett, forcing the Falcons to use their final timeouts and essentially preventing any comeback attempt.

“It was a long hug. A long, unwelcomed hug from Grady,” Brady said. “He was in the backfield all day. As I said after the game, I don’t throw flags. What I do throw is tablets and I didn’t have one accessible at the time. He had a hell of a game; I’ll leave it at that.”

The penalty continued to dominate among topics around the NFL.

Brady said he didn’t think he benefits more than other quarterbacks on those types of penalties. He had one such penalty called with him at quarterback in 2021. He ranks 16th since 2020 in roughing the passer penalties in the NFL.

Related: Yeah, the O-line is important, but referees are Tom Brady’s best friends

“I am a pocket passer, a lot of those roughing the passers come with guys extending plays, too, which I don’t really do that so it doesn’t surprise me that I’m down there on the list,” Brady said. “I’d love to be up there a little bit higher and get some 15-yard penalties for my team, but it’s not always the case unfortunately.”

Brady said he was uncertain whether the recent concussion sustained by Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa made roughing the passer penalties a point of emphasis among league officials.

“I think there’s always at times like this such heightened awareness to different things being called and everyone saw the Tua situation and I’m sure all the medical departments across the league were called and there were meetings and so forth and you know they’re trying to keep those things from happening again,” Brady said.

“... There’s ways people are calling the games and it differs from crew to crew. Sometimes you get (the calls), sometimes you don’t. You just hope they don’t impact the game. Every ref I’m sure would hope one of their calls don’t impact that game. I’m sure most refs would like to stay out of it and make sure the players play a clean game. It’s just part of sports.”

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On Monday, Bucs head coach Todd Bowles, who still calls the defense, was asked if the rules protecting the quarterback may turn every game into a version of the Pro Bowl, which was canceled because players didn’t want to tackle.

“Hopefully I won’t be in the league that long when they do come up with that decision, if they come up with that decision,” Bowles said.

While acknowledging the difficulty defensive players have with a narrow strike zone and other restrictions on tackling the quarterback, Bowles said he doesn’t worry about his team drawing unnecessary roughness penalties.

“You try to play it the right way,” he said. “You try to do all the things the right way and some things can’t be helped. A lot of things can be helped. You don’t worry about it as much as long as you’re teaching it the right way and making sure they’re playing it the right way.”

Related: Talking heads, Twitter concur that Falcons were robbed by roughing penalty

Like most teams, the Bucs study the officiating crews they will have each week and make players aware of their tendencies in terms or which penalties are emphasized.

But while teaching defensive players the rules of engagement with quarterbacks and other positions, Bowles said they try not to take away the natural aggressiveness of the game.

“We let them play and we go from there but we’ve got to make them aware of it,” he said.

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