Skip to content

Patrick Mahomes Not a Fan of NFL’s Uni-Numbering System

When the NFL changed its uni-numbering rules in 2021, then-Bucs quarterback Tom Brady wasn’t happy about it. As he said at the time:

“The number rule is crazy. … You’ve got to watch film and know who you’re studying but so do running backs. They’ve got to know who to block. So does the offensive line. So do the receivers who are adjusting their routes based on blitzes.

“So one guys has got a 6, one guy has 11, one guy has got a 9. And they change every play when you break your routes and get to your spot. It’s going to be a very challenging thing. It’s a good advantage for the defense, which that’s what it is.”

It turns out that another star quarterback has similar thoughts. On Monday night, KC signal-caller Patrick Mahomes said:

“It’s even crazier now because everybody can wear the single digits. We actually go in every week and we really emphasize the numbers because when you’ve got a number like No. 7 playing middle linebacker, that can really mess with your tells for the o-linemen. It looks cool, I’ll give everybody that, but it makes it a little difficult for the QB.”

A few thoughts here:

  • Almost every rule change in recent years has been to favor the offense. So if the new numbering rules really do help out the defense, as Brady and Mahomes claim, I’d say that’s a long-overdue corrective.
  • The NFL’s new numbering rules are similar to the ones used in the NCAA, so it’s not as though Mahomes has never dealt with something like this before.
  • It’s interesting that the only two quarterbacks who’ve complained about the rule, at least that I’m aware of, are Brady (the greatest QB of the last generation) and Mahomes (arguably the greatest QB of the current generation). I wonder if these near-superhuman players have a harder time being “brought down to earth” by a uni-numbering situation than a mere mortal QB.

Finally, do you remember why the NFL revised its numbering rules in the first place? Because Mahomes’s own team pushed for the change. I guess they didn’t consult him.

Comments (27)

    Didn’t he deal with the same numbering system in college? Great googily moogily, Chefs players are as whiny as Chefs fans.

    I don’t know about being whiny, but I challenge any of the “choppers” to go do it on a reservation. If they can’t, then they shouldn’t at the stadium. More cowardly than whiny in my book.

    Football is not a very complicated game: on offense evade everybody coming at you, on defense push off everybody and tackle the one with the ball. Regardless of the numbers that they are wearing.

    Pickup football in the backyard isn’t very complicated. Professional football is insanely complicated.

    They’ve been doing it since the dawn of time in college and no one complains. Spoiled, whiny, Prima Donna.

    Been in college forever. Most of these players played in college for at a least two seasons. This is a ridiculous complaint.

    Mahomes is going out of his way to follow Brady, both as a great QB and as a whiny, entitled diva. It’s increasingly difficult to give a damned about anything he says.

    In college it’s happening already as all the highly-visible star players take everything from 1-19; my alma mater has all its kickers in the 90s. I think it looks ridiculous and a little humiliating for the average-guy-sized kickers to have to wear numbers that are normally worn by people who weigh twice what they do. Let the skinny guys have single digits.

    To be far, he was on the Manningcast when he talked about the numbers and was very casual about it. It wasn’t like he went out of his way to complain about it, they were talking about defenses that sub in a bunch of guys and he mentioned that guys wearing different numbers than expected was part of his weekly prep and he would go through the replacement defenders as well, in case they subbed in. It wasn’t like he soapboxed how he wanted it changed, just that it exists and is something they have to be prepared for.

    Not a fan of the numbering system. As I am not an NFL player my reasoning is more for aesthetic purposes. Just don’t care for it. College is college, it’s amateur. Leave that stuff for college. Don’t try and make the NFL like the college game.

    Agree that whatever is left of amatuer sports should try to stay that way…
    Also understand why many say that ship sailed long ago…

    Yeah, inwas watching the Manningcast when he said that. This has gotten blown out of proportion a bit. He just said it makes prepping a little more complicated.

    I agree with Mahomes and Brady. Was a lot easier to see what was going on when positions had a certain range of numbers. Perhaps it is just stuck that way in my brain growing up with that rule set, but to me only players that should be 1-19 are QBs and kickers, 20 thru 49 are RBs and DBs, 50s are linebackers, 60s are interior OL, 70s exterior OL, 80s WRs and TE’s, and 90s DL. Don’t get me started on the use of 0, which isn’t even a number.
    Now get off my lawn.

    I hate the numbering system now as a fan. I used to be able to tell matchups with a quick glance based on the numbers but not anymore.

    It sucks!
    They need to go back to the correct number by position!
    This is supposed to be the pros!
    This is the kind of thing that separates pro’s from college!
    Another reason the NFL is losing its luster!

Comments are closed.