FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady expressed empathy for Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen after he was knocked out of Sunday’s game after taking a big hit, saying the play is reflective of the risk-reward scenario he weighs when deciding to run.
“A lot of quarterbacks who do run, they’re trying to make yards and it’s great. At the same time, you’re susceptible to big hits,” Brady said in his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.”
“Whether it’s flagged or not, or whether it’s a penalty, a lot of the rules have changed over the years, but from a quarterback’s standpoint I feel like it’s always best to try to be available to the team, and it’s trying to take risk/reward and so forth. Nobody likes to see anybody get hurt out there. From my own experience, I try to do the best I can to avoid any big shots like that.”
Allen scrambled for 7 yards early in the fourth quarter and was in the process of being tackled by safety Duron Harmon when cornerback Jonathan Jones delivered a blow that resulted in his helmet making contact with Allen’s.
Jones was penalized for unnecessary roughness, while Allen is now in the concussion protocol. Bills coach Sean McDermott said he believed Jones should have been ejected, while NFL Vice President of Officiating Al Riveron said the hit didn’t rise to the level of an ejection.
In his radio interview, Brady recalled how he became the Patriots’ starter in 2001 when Drew Bledsoe was injured on a big hit. He also relayed a message that coach Bill Belichick once told him after he was drilled while running in a road game against the Bills.
“I was scrambling up the right side, and tried to hold on to the ball, and tried to slide late. The guy hit me and my helmet flew about 10 yards away. It kind of riled up their whole sideline,” Brady said. “I remember the next day, Coach Belichick said to me — I’ll never forget this — he said ‘Hey Brady, if you want to have a career in this league, when you’re running like that, you either throw the ball away or slide!’ I’ve kind of taken to that.”
Of the hit on Allen, Brady said: “You never like to see anyone get hurt out there. Football is a contact sport. It’s part of football. … Those defensive players are very fast and very physical.”
As for the Patriots’ 16-10 win over the Bills, in which Brady finished 18-of-39 for 150 yards with no touchdown and one interception, he said on WEEI that it’s clear there’s plenty of room for improvement.
“We got off to a good start, which was great. But we really didn’t do much after that. We just never really could find our rhythm,” he said on the program.
“We have to figure out what we can do well. We have to figure out the things we have to throw out that we’re not doing a good job of and that probably won’t work. Because every year your team changes and so forth. Sometimes you try certain things because you think they are going to work and they don’t. Or you build on things.
“So we’re just going to try to find ways to get better and improve, and find things we can consistently do a good job of. Yesterday there was a lot to learn from. We will watch it closely and try to do better in Washington next week.”