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Tom Brady Defends Himself After Unsportsmanlike Penalty vs. Rams

It‘s hard to imagine Tom Brady picking up many career “firsts” at this point after 22 years in the NFL, but he managed to achieve a new milestone on Sunday in the Buccaneers‘ playoff loss to the Rams.

Brady took a big shot from Von Miller during Sunday's game in the second quarter, leaving him with a bloody lip. After it failed to draw a penalty, Brady lit into Shawn Hochuli, who flagged him for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty. Hochuli later said Brady “got in my face in an aggressive manner and used abusive language.”

The QB would make all of the penalty yardage up with a pass to Leonard Fournette on the very next play, but the flag still made a small bit of NFL history: It was the first unsportsmanlike call of Brady's career. 

Brady shared things from his perspective on his Let's Go! podcast with Jim Gray on Monday. Brady said he didn't think he earned the flag.

“I obviously felt like I got hit on the chin, and I felt like he missed, in the end, a clear penalty. So, I screamed at him to throw the flag, and he did,” Brady said. “But I guess I need to be more specific with who he needs to throw the flag on. So I’ve got a nice bruise under my chin. It's part of football, and we overcame it.

“It is the first time in 22 years to get flagged. That was pretty comical to me.”

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Brady clearly chewed out Hochuli after the hit from Miller, though he denies using any abusive language.

“The referees have a difficult job, but at the same time the players have a difficult job, too,” Brady continued. “If I feel like they miss a call, I want to let the guy know. And I’ve done that literally a thousand times over the course of my career and never got called. And in this instance, before I could realize it, the flag was thrown. And I was looking at the guy like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I didn’t cuss, I didn’t do any of those things.”

Just last week, on the same podcast, Brady admitted that he probably gets away with plenty of unsportsmanlike calls.

“They probably let me get away with a lot of unsportsmanlike conducts, talking smack to the other team and talking smack to the refs when I don’t think I get the right call,” Brady said. “I’m kind of a pain in their ass, in case you don’t already know that.”

Perhaps Brady should have saved that admission for the offseason based on the timing here, especially if Sunday's game winds up being the last of Brady's illustrious career.

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