And he had no problem roasting Brady, and his fellow "NFL Countdown" panelists in former Patriots receive Randy Moss, former Patriots linebacker Teddy Bruschi and former Jets and Bills coach Rex Ryan in the process.
"My biggest complaint to this and no offense to the three of you guys," Smith said toward his fellow panelists.
"He played in the most uncompetitive division in NFL history. I mean, you come out of training camp in the biggest cupcake division, you got a ticket to the playoffs right away. Like, talk about mediocre."
Alex Smith totally disagrees with Tom Brady's characterization of the NFL. pic.twitter.com/64FRRqM0jq
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) November 26, 2023
Ryan playfully pretended to take offense to the Smith’s comments, while Bruschi and Moss smiled as he continued his statement during "Sunday NFL Countdown".
"I completely disagree with this. I know he’s talking about the rule over the middle over the field to the receiver. But in my opinion, the game has gotten better," Smith said.
"There’s more parity across the league. Quarterback play is at an all-time high in the league. You’ve got the best athletes playing the position. We didn’t have this 30-40 years ago. And then, also he’s referencing offensive numbers are down. To me, in think we’re in a golden age of D-linemen."
Tom Brady’s last Super Bowl came under current NFL rules
Smith also found it contradictory Brady shared his point of view, knowing his 2021 Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came during the current state of the NFL.
"Listen, I love Tom. The GOAT. But first off, he hasn’t been retired that long. He was just playing. He just won a Super Bowl in the current game. Are we discounting that one?" Smith said.
In addition to Smith’s point: Brady won six Super Bowls and 17 AFC East titles during his time with the Patriots.
What did Tom Brady say?
Brady, during an appearance on the Stephen A. Smith Show earlier this week, said:
"I think there's a lot of mediocrity in today's NFL. I don't see the excellence that I saw in the past," Brady said.
"I think the coaching isn't as good as it was. I don't think the development of young players is as good as it was. I don't think the schemes are as good as they were.
"The rules have allowed a lot of bad habits to get into the actual performance of the game. So, I just think the product, in my opinion, is less than what it's been."
Is Tom Brady or Alex Smith right?
NFL parity has continued, while scoring is down for the fourth consecutive season.
Teams are averaging 21.7 points per game this season, on pace with last season’s average of 21.9. It’s a decline from when NFL teams averaged 24.8 points in 2020, and 23 points per game in 2021, per Pro Football Reference.
According to ESPN: NFL teams were scoring a combined average of 43.3 points per game, before the Week 12 slate of games during the 2023 season. They combined to average 43.8 points per game in 2022, and 45.9 points in 2021.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Alex Smith roasts Tom Brady's 'mediocrity' comment on NFL Countdown