Patriots

Patriots

Maybe it's because his alma mater, Michigan, is in the middle of a tough stretch. Maybe it's because he'd rather spend time with his family.

But college football isn't really worth Tom Brady's time at the moment. 

"I like NFL," Brady told WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" on Monday. "I don't watch a ton of college football anymore. Saturdays can get busy obviously with family or travel on Saturday."

Convenient that Brady takes that attitude after his Wolverines got beat up by Wisconsin over the weekend? For Brady's part, it's really the overall sophistication levels of college football versus pro football that has him leaning toward the latter when he has the opportunity to watch as a fan.

"I like the pro game because the pro game is much more sophisticated," he said. "It's checkers versus chess. I'd say in pro football, it's chess. Everyone's got great athletes. In college you toss the ball to the fastest guy on the team and you try to let him run around and make plays. If you get good recruits and you're just better than the other team, then you have player advantage. Even if you have a good scheme, you can get a scheme advantage and I see a lot of coaches use scheme in college to really help. 

"But the pro game is a very evenly matched game usually every week. You gotta put the work in the prep, everyone's got the same amount of time to prepare. Everyone's got the same types of players, athletes. Every team is well-coached; some are better than others. Some teams have a little better players than others. But I love seeing the matchups, the innovations, how different players come and go. I don't think the fundamentals of pro football will ever change other than them trying to change the rules that change the fundamentals to some degree. It's a great sport. I've been playing football for 30 years. I love football."

 

What's been fascinating to watch in recent NFL seasons is how the college game has impacted the pro game. More and more NFL teams have adapted spread concepts to their offense and run-pass option plays. Those were wildly popular in the college game before young quarterbacks -- who happen to be good athletes used to running "college style" attacks -- had offenses built around them at the next level. 

So even though it might be chess versus checkers, there are elements of "checkers" that have been absorbed by the "chess" experts. Even grand masters like Bill Belichick have taken a liking to different aspects of the college game. 

It was widely publicized that Belichick and Chip Kelly discussed the benefits of working with pace offensively before Kelly made the leap to the NFL. Even over the course of the last few weeks, the Patriots have worked out of empty shotgun formations as one of their go-to alignments -- a far cry from some of the more traditional two-back sets with a fullback and tailback that the team used heavily at the end of last season.

Brady might not be all that into the college game at the moment, but the NFL at large seems to be taking a liking to its schemes more and more every year.

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