The New England Patriots are the model for the modern NFL offense. Well before it became fashionable, they were passing the ball nearly every down, which is part of why Tom Brady is considered by so many to be the best quarterback of all time. The wide open contemporary NFL game is also why starting quarterbacks are enjoying more success with less experience behind center.

The rules are favorable to quarterbacks by providing a built-in protection of sorts against the mental and physical pressure of a position that requires players to read defenses and make a decision almost in the blink of an eye or get rammed into the turf by a 300-pound behemoth. That's illegal now, and the difficulty adjusting from the college game consistently demoralized younger QBs earlier in the millennia. Brady addressed that change in his weekly radio appearance on WEEI, and the irony of his comments is pretty blatant:

“I think it was a different time. Football was different then. Now, in some ways, pro football is more glorified college football. In some ways, the transition—it’s more similar than it used to be when I first started. Football now is removing some of the physical elements of the game. It’s more of a space game. You see a lot of college plays more in the pro game now than I remember when I started.”

Implicit in that riff is the idea that the game is "going soft," as defensive lineman Clay Matthews said a few weeks back after his third successive week with a roughing the passer penalty. The new rules are designed to help Brady and his ilk, so even partial nostalgia about an earlier era rings false, or at least disingenuous. Regardless of what happens to the controversial roughing the passer penalty, you can be sure Brady is thankful it exists, even if he's just like every other aging star bemoaning the weakness of the whippersnappers who didn't have to face the same type of adversity as they did when they were coming up.