Peyton Manning jabbed Tom Brady over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ star unhappiness with some defenders wearing single-digit numbers this season.
Manning, who was participating in ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” simulcast with his brother Eli, was breaking down a play in the first quarter between the Las Vegas Raiders and Baltimore Ravens when he mentioned that Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen was wearing No. 6.
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The former NFL quarterback had to mention Brady and his outspokenness about the new guidelines.
“I know Brady doesn’t like the single-digit linebackers but Tom it’s here to stay. You better deal with it. Learn the fact that a mike linebacker is wearing No. 6,” Manning said.
Manning explained the reason why Brady was upset because offensive linemen aren’t used to blocking guys with single digits. He said he supported the number change and suggested players just study hard the week leading up to the game.
The NFL expanded the rules for jersey numbers this season allowing running backs, tight ends, fullbacks and wide receivers to wear jersey numbers 1-49 and 80-89. Defensive backs will be allowed to wear numbers 1-49, linebackers 1-59 and 90-99, offensive linemen 50-79 and defensive linemen 50-59 and 90-99. There were no changes for quarterbacks, kickers and punters.
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Brady told the Tampa Bay Times last week it was something that irked him.
“The number rule is crazy. 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,” Brady said.
“So one guy has got a 6, one guy has 11, one guy has got a 9. And they change every play when you break your routes and get to your spot. It’s going to be a very challenging thing. It’s a good advantage for the defense, which that’s what it is.”
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Brady predicted there are going to be matchups where certain players will be blocking the wrong guy.
He expressed the same concerns in April.