When it comes to officiating, the NFL didn't exactly have a banner weekend as both the AFC Championship game and NFC title game were marred by bad calls.
During the latest episode of the "Let's Go" podcast, Tom Brady was asked what he thought about the current state of officiating in the league. Brady didn't throw the officiating under the bus, but he did suggest a solution that might help the NFL cut down on controversial penalties, especially ones pertaining to holding, roughing the quarterback and pass interference.
"The refs got a tough job. Are they going to get every call right? Is anyone 100% in their job? It's a hard job to do. They're making decisions in a millisecond," Brady said of controversial penalties, via Pro Football Talk. "This is what I believe ... there was three terms they used: It was clear, it was obvious and ... prolonged. At the end of the day, that would be my barometer for throwing flags."
If a penalty is clear, obvious and prolonged, Brady wants a penalty thrown. Along with those guidelines, Brady sounds like he would only want a flag thrown if the penalty has an impact on the play.
"If it meets those criteria, penalty," Brady said. "Holding, defensive illegal contact, offensive pass interference. It could be clear, but it could be quick and it doesn't really affect the play that much [so don't throw the flag]."
Brady also pointed out that officials are under an almost unfair amount of pressure because every penalty gets scrutinized, especially in the playoffs.
"When you get to the playoffs, a lot of times they don't call it in the playoffs, which I think as players we really actually like that. We like when they let us play," Brady said. "Now, can that go too far? Absolutely. If you're thinking about rule changes in refereeing, it's very difficult because when you slo-mo things down to the millisecond on a TV review, yeah, everyone's going to be up in arms about everything, but when you're monitoring those things in real time, they're happening so quick. So I think clear, obvious, and prolonged is a great way in taunting and holding and [pass interference], roughing the quarterback. All those things I think would be a better barometer for throwing those flags."
Brady has been on both sides of the spectrum when it comes to bad officiating. He's had several calls go against him, but he's also had several go his way. As a matter of fact, it's interesting that Brady proposed a guideline for "roughing the quarterback," because one of the most controversial roughing calls of the season came in Week 5 when Grady Jarrett got called for roughing the passer on Brady during a key moment late in the game between the Falcons and Buccaneers.
The roughing the passer call after the Falcons' Grady Jarrett hit the Bucs' Tom Brady, and the roasting of it from Fox's Daryl Johnston. pic.twitter.com/3ba6PCdrHm— The Comeback (@thecomeback) October 9, 2022
After that game, Brady was asked about the call and he sidestepped the question.
"I don't throw flags, I throw tablets," Brady said back in October.
When you get a call that goes your way, Brady says you don't think much about it because it all seems to even out in the long run.
"When you're on the wrong side of it, obviously, it's tough to swallow and there's a lot of reasons to be angry or emotional," Brady said. "When you're on the right side of it, you discount it. 'No, look, we had plenty where it didn't go our way, either.' Everyone wants the refs to make great calls all the time. Everyone wants me to complete every pass. It's not the reality."
Now that Brady has retired, maybe the NFL should think about putting him in charge of officiating.