Watch CBS News

Report: Bill Belichick 'Hates' NFL's Jersey Number Rule Change, Just Like Tom Brady Does

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- On Thursday, Tom Brady caused quite a stir when he went on a mini-meltdown over the NFL opening up new jersey number choices for various positions.  As it turns out, Bill Belichick feels similarly -- you just won't be seeing that sentiment shared on any of his nonexistent social media channels.

But according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Belichick "hates" the rule, which gives running backs, wide receivers, defensive backs, and linebackers the option of wearing a single-digit jersey number.

"Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Patriots were one of a handful of teams to vote against the rule," Florio reported. "Coach Bill Belichick, per the source, hates the new rule."

The report stated that only "four or five" teams voted against the rule change.

Brady's issue had to do with pre-snap identification of defensive players. Previously, linebackers had to wear jersey numbers in the 50s or 90s, while defensive backs had to wear jerseys in the 20s, 30s or 40s. For a quarterback and an offensive line, identifying the Mike linebacker will become trickier, as will spotting a blitzing defensive back (as opposed to an in-the-box linebacker).

From Brady's perspective, it makes sense that a quarterback would dislike the added pre-snap challenge ... considering he's the one who will get popped if a rusher enters the backfield unblocked.

From Belichick's perspective, it's at least a little surprising that he doesn't see that wrinkle as an opportunity to further confuse opposing quarterbacks.

Regardless, it's interesting that with a rule change that most of the NFL supported, Brady and Belichick are aligned in their opposition.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.