Brady starts fast in his first scrimmage

by Gary Shelton on August 29, 2020

in general

Brady says hello to Bucs with big drive./TIM WIRT

Saturday, 3 a.m.

Time will make you forget about Thursday. All things considered, it was just another scrimmage in just another practice on just another August morning.

When you're as accomplished a quarterback as Tom Brady, there have been a thousand of these mornings.

Still, it was a good start.

For the Bucs, that was the important thing. It was the first real step of the journey that Brady -- and the Bucs -- will take together this year. And, yes, he was sharp. For instance, there was the 16-play, 98-yard touchdown

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drive that was a promise of what will happen now that the team has turned its fortunes over to Brady.

“I thought Tom was very, very efficient," Bucs' coach Bruce Arians said. "Good job of leadership – I think when you get the first long drive of the year, guys start dragging. He got their (butts) in the huddle and got them rolling and keeping under the 25-second and 40-second clock pretty good – we weren’t close at all. He was commanding that pretty good, and overall, I thought he had a hell of a day. Overall, I was pretty pleased. I think that [opening] drive and a couple other drives showed that we’re not quite in game shape coming out of it. The field was very soft and mushy – we’re used to a hard, fast surface over here on the practice (field), so it was a little different feel, too.”

Is that what Bucs' fans will see in the coming weeks? Brady's entire career suggests that it is, but he has never been 43 before, and he has never quarterbacked a team from Tampa Bay.

“He was fired up," Arians said. "He was ready to go. It was the first time in a game atmosphere and, like I said, he had great command. He was getting them in and out, forcing his will a little bit on some guys who were tired – they need that.

“I thought the first offense was outstanding on that 98-yard drive getting it in the end zone. I thought Tom was outstanding on third downs the whole way around. I’d like to see them score on that two-minute drive with 31 seconds [remaining]. We got it down there and ended up kicking a field goal, which is fine before the half. You’re always looking for a double score, but you want that touchdown right there. That would be the only disappointing thing on the first-team offense. I thought the second-team offense made a couple of plays. I didn’t expect them to make a bunch, but they moved the ball. They made a few first downs against our defense and then our defense shut them down.”

All in all, it was a productive practice for Brady.

“That was kind of an eye opener for all of us," Brady said. "Basically, every period is probably four plays and you’re out, four plays and you’re out. That was 15, 16 plays in the heat and we came straight from the warmups right on to the field, so I think everybody was a little gassed. I think getting used to that heat, humidity and then the crowd noise – I think all those things were different variables for all of us. Hopefully we can use the lessons and just give us a little bit of experience with one another. It was definitely a bit of a challenge, but something we really need. We’re going to need more of it because it’s only going to get tougher from here.”

Brady was aware it was his first scrimmage with the Bucs.

“I think I felt that," Brady said. "I think this is just another step in the process. For me as a player, it’s preparing myself the best way I can. Getting to the stadium, getting there with my teammates – it was a good dress rehearsal, so to speak. Like I said, it has its challenges and hopefully we can use those as opportunities to grow and learn from one another. I thought today was a good step for us.

“No butterflies – I’ve been in a lot of moments on the field. You know what it is? It’s more excitement than butterflies. You’re on the field, you’re prepping with your teammates, we all got to dig a little deeper.

Brady said he hopes to get better as practices continue.

“I’m trying to just feel it out,"he said "When we need a little spark, try to provide that. When we need a little pick me up, provide that. I try to just get a feel on a daily basis, and I try to keep a really consistent level of intensity. I think the competition is on. It doesn’t start in two weeks – it has already started Every day that goes by we have to learn from what we’re doing, learn with each other, the plays, the corrections, all the different things that we’re trying to really get up to speed with because it’s very different with no preseason games and learning against our own team constantly [and] not traveling at all. We can try to maybe take advantage of the extra time we have – because I think there is a little extra time for practice – but it’s coming fast. I think today was a good indicator for all of us that it’s right around the corner and we’re going to have to tighten some things up so we can be ready to go against a great football team in a couple weeks.”

Brady shrugged off playoff talk. Instead, he wanted to talk about the process.

: Good anticipation leads to great execution and great execution over a game is going to lead us to a great margin of error in terms of winning and losing," Brady said. "Then, if you build on that, it leads to a good month. That leads to a good two months (and) it leads to a good season. I think you have to focus on what the process is, and that’s a daily basis. Today was the most important day because it’s the only one we had. It was in our stadium, pads, hitting, live contact and it was some learning for us. We’ve got to take it, understand what we did wrong, learn from it, move on and then put it behind us to go get back to work tomorrow and try to be better tomorrow.”

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