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Tom Brady: NFL 'A Little Softer Than It Used to Be'

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, the NFL's elder statesman at age 44, has seen plenty of changes around the league during his 22-year career.

Brady addressed the evolution of the quarterback position during an appearance on the Let’s Go! podcast Wednesday, noting the league's embrace of mobile quarterbacks in recent years. He attributes that uptick in part to rule changes. 

"I think they’re [now] calling more penalties on defensive players for hitting, you know, for violent contact," Brady said. "There’s a lot of plays and hits that are happening on quarterbacks now, that are flags for defensive players, that probably weren’t that way 10 or 15 years ago."

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Brady elaborated on increased protections for quarterbacks in the modern era. 

"I’d say the game is a little softer than it used to be," Brady said. "I think the defensive players are more on the defensive when they go in to tackle. And I think that’s probably adding to this element of quarterbacks outside the pocket and taking more chances, you know, than they did in the past."

At his age, Brady isn't running much, but he still appears plenty comfortable in the league even as his peers trend younger and more athletic. The quarterback won his seventh Super Bowl in February, and he's thrown an NFL-best nine touchdowns through two weeks in 2021. In the battle of Tom vs. Time, it appears as though the former is still winning.

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