Tom Brady walks back tweets criticizing TNF penalty calls: 'I'm very pro-ref'

Torrey HartYahoo Sports Contributor

After taking to Twitter during Thursday night’s game between the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars to criticize an excessive number of penalties called by the referee crew, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady scaled back his complaints Friday.

“I'm very pro-ref," Brady said in the New England locker room on Friday, according to the New England Sports Network.

His tweets would suggest otherwise, however.

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“Too many penalties. Just let us play!!!!,” he first posted. His frustrations mounted when he added seven minutes later: “I’m turning off this game I can’t watch these ridiculous penalties anymore.”

Friday, he maintained he wasn’t criticizing the refs –– despite calling their body of work “ridiculous.” And when asked about refereeing concerns for his upcoming game against the New York Jets, he claimed not to be worried at all.

“The refs always do a good job. I never complain to the refs," he said. "You guys ever hear me complain to the refs?"

After probably realizing he didn’t want to hear the answer to that question, he revised it, and said he only comments to them “maybe in the emotion, heat of the moment.”

Brady does have a point: through the first two weeks of this season, NFL games have averaged 9.72 flags per game, with 622 penalties called in total, compared to last year’s average of 7.62 last year (per NFLpenalties.com).

The contrast is even starker with holding penalties. Thursday’s Fox broadcast revealed holding calls through Week 2 have spiked from 119 in 2017 and 109 in 2018 to a whopping 179 this year.

Brady’s perspective, however, does come two days after Miami Dolphins linebacker Raekwon McMillan alleged that an official told him to “stay off Tom” after a legal hit. So perhaps take the whole ordeal with a grain of salt.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady takes questions from reporters following NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady takes questions from reporters following NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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