Brady’s first message to the Bucs is a positive one

by Gary Shelton on March 25, 2020

in general

Things are looking up for Bucs, Arians./JOE MESTAS

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

You don't have to love English Literature to know who Shakespeare is.

You don't have to be a fan of space flight to know all about Neal Armstrong.

You don't have to be a basketball fan to have heard of Michael Jordan.

And so, when Tom Brady's voice could finally be heard, you don't have to be a fan of the Tampa Bay Bucs to appreciate the sound.

Brady arrived -- at least on a telephone conference -- Tuesday afternoon. It was a strong voice, filled with confidence and accomplishment, and it

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sounded a new direction for a franchise that has been lost for years. It didn't assure fans that he was still the quarterback who has been considered as the best -- certainly the most accomplished -- to ever play the game. But for the Bucs, it was a voice to follow, a voice in which to believe.

"The expectation is for me is to come in and do what I feel is right for the organization and that’s to be a great team player," Brady said. "I’m going to try to do everything I can to get up to speed with all of the things that I need to do and what my responsibilities are. I obviously have a ton of trust and respect for Coach (Bruce) Arians [and] for Jason (Licht) and what he has done to build the team and the organization as it is now. I’m thankful to the Glazer family for giving me an opportunity."

Brady is replacing Jameis Winston as the Bucs' starting quarterback. Winston threw for more yards and more touchdowns than Brady a year ago, but his turnover rate was climbing, and the Bucs felt that even at 43 (as next season begins) Brady was a better bet.

“I think, obviously where I’ve been, I’ve learned a great deal," Brady sad. "As I move forward, like I said the other day, no one cares what you did in the past. They don’t care what you did last year, five years ago or 10 years ago. I think hopefully the knowledge I have with my experience playing quarterback will allow me to transition quickly. There are a lot of things I’ve got to get up to speed on. Obviously, learning different terminology – that is a unique challenge that I haven’t faced, but it’s one that I’m looking forward to, also. Again, I’m not going to make a bunch of predictions to where I’ve been. I go in looking forward to the opportunity to learn from the new coaches and the new players that I’ll be playing with, and I’m going to go out and give it everything I’ve got.

"There were a lot of things that really were intriguing to me about the organization – the players, and the coaches and the willingness of everyone to try to accomplish what the goal of playing football is, which is to win. I’m going to try to do everything I can in my position and in what I am responsible for to make it happen. I’ve got to trust that everyone else is doing the exact same thing. That part is no different from what I’ve experienced in 20 years of my own role.”

Brady said the offense of coach Bruce Arians was appealing to him.

"I’ve obviously paid attention to him and his offense for a long time," Brady said. "Everybody has somewhat different styles and philosophies on how to call things and so forth. Football, to me, is about throwing the ball to the guy that is open. If he is open deep, that is where you throw it and if he’s open short, you throw it there. If he is open outside, you throw it there. If they are open inside, that’s where you throw it. You get the ball to the guy who can do something with it.

"There are some really talented players here on this offense that have very unique skill sets and it’s really my responsibility – I have one ball and I’ve got to be able to deliver that ball to the guy who can do something with it. There is a lot of ground to make up because I haven’t worked with these players. I’m going to have to learn what they do, and their body language and how they like things. That’s part of the challenge. It’s unfortunate what we’re going through in our world. It presents different challenges for all of us, so again, as soon as we have the opportunity to all be together in one place, we can really start working toward that. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Brady said there was a lot to like about the Bucs.

"In playing quarterback for a long time, that’s what I do is I watch film and I study." Brady said. "I try to learn, I try to grow and I try to evolve every year. I’ve watched this offense over a long period of time – with a lot of different quarterbacks – have a lot of success. It’s a great offense for the quarterback. It’s a great offense for the receivers, for the tight ends and for the running backs. There’s been a lot of great players who have been a part of working with Coach Arians. It’s for me to come in and to understand the things I’ve got to learn to be successful within what we are all trying to do, and what we collectively do well. It’s not about what one player does well.

"Great offenses aren’t about one player. Great offenses are about every guy being on the same page and playing with confidence and anticipation. Until you can get to work on doing those things – for me getting a lot of those logistical things out of the way is important because there is a tactical aspect. I’ve got to get to that. I’ve really got to get up to speed on. It’s going to be a busy offseason for me learning a lot of new things, which is a great challenge and a great opportunity for me. I’m just going to do it the only way I know how to do it, which is just to fully engulf myself in what is done here. It’s a new program that I’m a part of and they have their way of doing things. They’re committed to winning and I’ve got to come in and do my part. That’s why I’m here.”

Brady didn't want to address specifics about leaving New England -- except to repeat his loyalty to Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick. Still it will be an adjustment for him.

The biggest question, of course, is what Brady has left. Words alone will not answer that. Only play will.

"I’m prepared to give them every bit of commitment I’ve had my entire career to be the best I could be to makee this team be the best it could be," Brady said. "I did say there’s not one person that makes a team. It’s every single person doing their job every day that’s committed and determined to be the best. I’m a very disciplined quarterback and I try to follow through on the things I’m committed to and I try to work every day to be the best I can be. That’s what I’m going to try to push my teammates to do and I’m just excited to get started.”

Can you wait to see?

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