Mike ReissESPN Staff WriterClose
- Covered Patriots since 1997
- Joined ESPN in 2009
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — WhileOakland Raiderswide receiverAntonio Brownsays hewon’t play footballunless he can wear his old helmet that is now banned by the NFL,New England PatriotsquarterbackTom Bradyacknowledged that it’s been an adjustment for him to get used to a new helmet.
“I’ve been experimenting with a couple different ones, and I don’t really love the one that I’m in, but I don’t really have much of a choice,” Brady said Monday on the “The Greg Hill Show” on sports radio WEEI. “So I’m just trying to do the best I can to work with it.”
Brady’s old helmet, the Riddell VSR-4, was among thoseprohibited by the NFL this year, as part of a joint venture with the players’ association to help improve player safety.
Brady previously saidhe understands the reason for the change, even as he struggles to adapt to it.
“You get used to the same helmet for a long period of time. My last helmet, I wore it the last four Super Bowls, so it was a pretty great helmet for me. I hated to put it on the shelf,” he said on the radio program. “It’s kind of what I’m dealing with.”
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy noted that NFL policy states that helmets have to be certified by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) and that it doesn’t clear equipment that is older than 10 years.
McCarthy explainedthat players can’t practice or play in games until they wear an approved helmet.