Brady looks to come back from defeat

by Gary Shelton on September 18, 2020

in general

Brady is a race against the calendar./TIM WIRT

Friday, 2 a.m.

It's tough to beat Tom Brady once. It's harder to do it twice in a row.

If there is anything that will give fans of the Tampa Bay Bucs hope, perhaps it is that.

Over his career, Brady hasn't lost often. He come out a loser just 68 times in 288 games. Most of the time, however, Brady responds well after a loss. Only 11 times in his career has he lost two straight games; only once (in 2002) has he more than two in a row.

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Brady wasn't sensational in the Bucs' opener, throwing two interceptions, with one of them being returned for a touchdown.

“I think it’s a long process of trying to improve in a lot of different areas," Brady said. "I think about being the best I can be and the process I’ve got to go through in order to make that happen. Every week is a little different challenge. I think it starts with great communication – understanding how to win the game, how to lose the game [and] being on the same page with my teammates so we can go execute. Obviously if you turn the ball over, it makes it very difficult to win. If you set yourself back with penalties, negative plays – pass game or run game – it’s a game of scoring points, so you’ve got to figure out how to score more points than the other team. There has been a lot of focus this week and a lot of communication on those types of things.”

Obviously, all of the Bucs' shortcomings were not the fault of Brady. But it was Brady who was Brought in to restore hope. His play was supposed to make you overlook other shortcomings.

"Obviously, everyone wants to win," Brady said. "We’ve got to figure out how to be as consistent as possible on a daily basis to put ourselves in the best position to give ourselves the most margin of error. I think football is about making good decisions on a play-by-play basis. That falls on everybody. It starts with communication and moves down to execution. Those are things we’re going to be working on from now until the end of time of football. I don’t think I’ve ever thought in football, ‘Man, we’ve got this figured out. This is easy.’ This is a challenging game. They put a lot of pressure on you on defense, you put a lot of pressure on them and so it makes it a very difficult sport.”

Brady still has to get his timing down with his receivers.

“I think that’s part of just working on things, being on the field at the same time and just communicating through them," Brady said. "It’s like anything – the longer you’re together, the less you’ll have to say certain things because you will already have experienced them, you will have talked about them and worked through them. There’s a lot of black and white in football, and then there’s a lot of grey. The problem is when there is too much grey – ‘I thought one thing, you thought another.’ Whoever is right or wrong, it doesn’t matter. The reality is bad plays happen. When bad plays happen you put yourself in a non-advantageous position so we’ve got to eliminate as much as we can – ‘I thought this, you thought that. You thought this, I thought that.’ One time you’re right, one time you’re wrong. The reality is, the other team can’t come away with the ball. That’s going to keep us from scoring points. Keeping us from scoring points is going to keep us from winning games. You keep us from winning games – the whole issue is we’re here to win games. That’s why we’re playing football. We’ve got to put ourselves in a good position on every play to figure out exactly where we’re going to be, so we can all play with confidence and anticipation. You can practice and then I think that leads to great execution. You have confidence in one another, and once you have confidence in one another, you can really anticipate and you will make good plays.” 

Offense coordinator Byron Leftwich admits it will take repetitions.

“I think in some instances we just didn’t play well as a whole, but I think there will be more of that as we go," Leftwich said." There will be more collaboration as we go of just trying to continuously put our team in the best situation. We went and played a good football team – we didn’t play well in stages and it [was] showcased. In order to win in this league, you have to play well throughout a four-quarter football game and we just didn’t do that as a group, and we lost to a good football team. All we can do is come back to work, try to get better at the things we didn’t do so well and just try to do what you can to win the next football game.

"We’ll continuously learn every time we get an opportunity to go to practice and get an opportunity to get to the games. We’ll just continuously get better throughout the year, we just have to do the things that we have to do to try and find ways to win.”

Leftwich said there was a reason that Brady has traditionally responded well to a defeat.

“He’s the best for a reason," Leftwich said. "The way that his mind works, the way that he sees the game – like I said, he’s a special guy. He’s a unique guy because of the way he sees football. I don’t expect [anything] different from him. I expect he’s going to come in and do what he can. Bring energy, bring excitement to the game (and) to the team, and do all the things possible for us to execute at a high level."

It leaves the Bucs in a familiar area. There 0-1 and hoping to avoid going to 2-0.

"If I look at it from my standpoint on offense, we have to do it when we’re out there, which means eliminating negative plays, good communication – it’s very tactical," Brady ssid. "Winning the game is a byproduct of doing a lot of things the right way. That goes all the way down to your practice, your preparation, your attitude, your teamwork, your commitment, your discipline, your determination, how tough you are mentally (and) physically. Are you making the right plays on a daily basis? All those things come up [and] we’re going to improve them. We see they’re not right and we’re going to try to improve them.”

The Bucs play at Carolina on 1 p.m. on Sunday.

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