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Giants' Daniel Jones, other mobile QBs benefit in today's less-physical NFL, Tom Brady says

Daniel Jones of the Giants runs the ball

Daniel Jones of the Giants runs the ball during the third quarter against the Panthers at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Tom Brady sometimes watches Daniel Jones run and thinks what he's seeing is "crazy."

That is no knock from the Buccaneers quarterback against his Giants counterpart, who is 20 years his junior. It merely is a guy who entered the NFL in 2000 marveling at how much things have changed since then.

"I think so many quarterbacks, they run through the middle of the defense, and they just probably know that, in essence, they're not going to get hurt," Brady said on his SiriusXM podcast "Let’s Go!"

"I see [the Colts’] Carson Wentz do it all the time. I see Daniel Jones do it all the time. And I'm in my mind, I'm thinking it's crazy. The defensive players are running, and they all jump out of the way of the quarterback."

Brady was responding to a question from Fox’s Colin Cowherd about what Brady would change about the NFL if given the chance after he retires.

It was one of a series of questions from prominent media figures who cover and/or talk about the NFL who were invited to pepper Brady during a special, 90-minute edition of the podcast, which premiered on Monday.

Brady lamented how much physical play has been taken out of the game by rules changes and interpretations over the past two decades.

"The game that I played 20 years ago is very different than the game now, in the sense that now it's more skills competition than it is physical football," Brady said.

"I think in some ways they're taking away a physical element to the game . . . The way the rules are being set, I don’t think that it’s always in the best interest of the game that I once played."

He said that in the past, the onus was on players and their teammates to protect themselves; now it is on opposing players to do so.

Brady said the pass he threw to Mike Evans on Sunday for his 600th career regular-season touchdown pass – which was completed with several Bears defenders nearby – was one he would not have thrown 10 years ago.

"The safety was standing right there and the safety essentially can't hit him the way that he used to be able to hit him," Brady said. "All the safeties now are 200 pounds and they all cover. There's no Rodney Harrison, there's no Ronnie Lott. I mean, I can go on — Brian Dawkins.

"There's a lot of players, like Ray Lewis, that I didn't throw the ball between the hashes because Ray Lewis was going to knock them out of the game."

He added, "I think the onus of protecting receivers should be on the quarterback, not the defensive backs. And the onus of protecting a running back should be on the offensive linemen, not on the tacklers who are trying to tackle the running back."

Brady said he does not believe cheap shots ever are permissible, but he said under the current rules, "It'd be like being in a boxing ring and saying, ‘Don't hit your opponent too hard because you might hurt them.’"

Brady said he learned the price of running when he slid late and former Bills cornerback Nate Clements knocked off his helmet "and it incited their entire sideline."

"You know what I learned after that play? Man, you better slide a lot faster than that," Brady said. "I think the reality is you develop a lot of bad habits because we're not being taught the game, that you're out there to protect your teammates. I'm not out there to protect the other team."

He added, "I think now we're taking physical players out of the game and now it's a skills competition . . . We still get beat up and we still get hit. It's very different, though, in the fact that quarterbacks are throwing the ball in areas we shouldn't throw it, and they penalize defensive players for it.

"And I said that before: You can't penalize a defensive player for doing his job. So I think they should think about how that impacts things going forward, or else you just get, you know, it turns into a seven-on-seven football."

Among those whose asked questions of Brady in the podcast were Dan Patrick, Chris Berman, Scott Van Pelt, Adam Schefter, Jay Glazer, Erin Andrews, Steve Young, Colin Cowherd, Pam Oliver, Kevin Harlan, Jim Nantz, Bill Cowher, Peter King, Kay Adams, Greg Bishop, Larry Fitzgerald and Jeff Darlington.

Jim Gray is the host and Fitzgerald is a regular with Brady in the podcast.

New York Sports