Patriots

Tom Brady explains why college football is 'checkers' to NFL's 'chess'

Tom Brady explains why college football is 'checkers' to NFL's 'chess'

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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Patriots TE Devin Asiasi joins Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry for workouts

Patriots TE Devin Asiasi joins Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry for workouts

Twelve days ago, Cam Newton was still a free agent looking for work.

But ever since he agreed to a one-year contract with the Patriots, he's been very busy trying to get ready for the 2020 season, learning the playbook and developing chemistry with his new receivers.

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In addition to N'Keal Harry, whose workout with Newton was captured on video, rookie tight end Devin Asiasi was also catching passes from New England's new quarterback. Twitter user amirmehrtash15 took pictures with both Asiasi and Newton at the UCLA practice session and posted them in reponse to the Providence Journal's Mark Daniels.

The workout wasn't limited to Patriots, as Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr. was also in attendance.

Newton trying to fast-track a relationship with his new teammates makes perfect sense. He set up his first practice with Mohamed Sanu on the day he signed his Patriots contract, and in less than two weeks, he's already connected with three of the guys who will be among his top receiving options in 2020.

The Patriots certainly hope all that extra work pays off, as training camps could open as soon as the end of this month once the NFL and NFLPA can finalize preseason dates.

Jarvis Landry begs Tom Brady to speak up: 'We need to hear you'

Jarvis Landry begs Tom Brady to speak up: 'We need to hear you'

Tom Brady has lent his name, voice, and stature when players have had issues with the NFL in the past. In 2011, the then-Patriots quarterback was among 10 players who sued the NFL in federal court in an antitrust lawsuit asking to prevent a lawsuit.

And now, one of Brady's NFL brethren is asking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback to step up again.

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Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry tweeted at Brady Thursday night, imploring the future Hall of Famer to step up and lend his voice on calls with the NFL.

While Landry didn't specify what he was asking Brady to speak up about, the NFL and NFL Players Association have been discussing a litany of issues regarding the upcoming 2020 season, which is only two months away.

A variety of medical and testing protocol questions amid the coronavirus pandemic have yet to be resolved, and the league's ban on postgame jersey swaps was widely lampooned by players on Thursday.

NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran even suggested that the league should postpone the season by a month while it gets its business in order, but for now Landry wants one of the league's most prominent players to assist in the process.

He explained why he called out Brady specifically in a response to a tweet criticizing him for his original post. (Warning: NSFW language below.)

Whether or not Brady lends his voice, the time to figure out all of the roadblocks to a 2020 season is rapidly running out. Rookies are scheduled to report to training camps a week from Sunday.