FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady’s quest for the perfect helmet has taken another step forward.
The New England Patriots quarterback has been testing out a new helmet this preseason, as the one he’s worn for years will be banned from NFL use following the 2018 season. He recently made a tweak to that new helmet (a Riddell Precision Fit SpeedFlex, for the record), swapping in a custom facemask to replace his SF-2BD-SW mask, according to Helmet Stalker.
And it appears the 41-year-old QB is a fan of the update.
“That’s probably why I never switched, because it was always a little different than what I was used to. But they made it pretty good,” Brady said of his new helmet Wednesday during a press conference at Gillette Stadium. “So, it’s actually — I think there’s still a few little tweaks I’d like, but for the most part, it’s really comfortable.”
Brady’s aerodynamic new helmet also has gotten the approval of his teammates, it seems.
“I asked the guys, ‘Do I look any younger or faster in it?’ And they said, ‘Yes,’ so I feel like I might keep it,” he said.
Brady’s new facemask, which he wore during last Thursday’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, doesn’t have a double bar across its face, which presumably will afford him a greater field of vision.
“You’ve seen something a certain way for a long period of time,” Brady said. “So, I like as much vision as possible. With the peripheral vision, it’s all important. It all matters. So, just making sure it’s kind of similar to what the experience has always been.”
Yet Brady, perhaps recalling the time he got eye-gouged by Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan, doesn’t want to completely sacrifice safety for improved vision.
“There’s got to be obviously some protection (on the sides of the helmet) because fingers can get — it hasn’t happened too often in my career, but I’ve had a few hands get through the mask a little bit,” he said.
“Typically quarterbacks have much more open (facemasks), like receivers probably do, with the vision. But the more (vision) you can have, the better. It’s not gonna be like the old Sean Lendeta punter one where you had the one bar, but it provides enough.”
In short: reviews on the latest helmet iteration are positive.
“I really like it,” Brady said. “It’s been a good transition, smooth transition which is all I can ask for.”
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images