BOSTON (CBS) — A player’s equipment may not necessarily be of great interest to many sports fans, but that hasn’t stopped Tom Brady’s helmet choice from becoming a somewhat significant storyline this summer in Foxboro.
OK, “significant” may be somewhat of a stretch, but nevertheless, there’s been real interest as Brady has experimented with a new, modern style of helmet during the preseason. There was equal interest when Brady appeared to switch back to his old helmet style late in camp.
But on Sunday, for Week 1 of the regular season, Brady took the field for warmups sporting the new model.
Brady’s worn the Riddell VSR-4 for essentially his entire career, only making a switch for very short time periods before going back with his old trustworthy helmet. But the NFL this past offseason announced that Brady’s helmet was one that no longer fits with NFL standards and protocols for safety, and so use of that helmet (and others) would be banned for all players after the 2018 season.
So, Brady tried out the Riddell Precision Fit Speedflex during the summer. It debuted on the practice field, and he wore it during preseason games No. 2 and 3 against the Eagles and Panthers. For those who’ve watched Brady for his entire career, it was difficult to not notice the change.
Brady spoke glowingly of the new helmet whenever asked about it, and thanked the equipment staff for helping him to get the helmet to feel right.
But he switched back to the old standby late in training camp, indicating that perhaps this year’s change was only an experiment. But Brady took the field with the new helmet on Sunday, embarking on a new era in a long career.