Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are united in their disdain for the NFL’s most dramatic offseason rule change.
Belichick “hates” the league’s decision to expand the range of allowable jersey numbers for offensive skill players, linebackers and defensive backs, according to a report Friday from ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio.
“Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Patriots were one of a handful of teams to vote against the rule that dramatically expands the available jersey numbers to linebackers, defensive backs, running backs, receivers, and tight ends,” Florio wrote. “Coach Bill Belichick, per the source, hates the new rule.”
Brady lambasted the change Thursday on Instagram, calling it “DUMB” and insisting it will lead to “a lot of bad football.
The former New England Patriots quarterback’s argument centers on the idea that allowing linebackers and DBs to wear similar numbers will make it harder for QBs and offensive linemen to identify them and set their protection plans.
Here’s a breakdown of the new jersey number ranges:
Quarterbacks, punters and kickers: 1 through 19
Receivers, tight ends, running backs: 1 through 49, 80 through 89
Offensive linemen: 50 through 79
Defensive linemen: 50 through 79, 90 through 99
Linebackers: 1 through 59, 90 through 99
Defensive backs: 1 through 49