TB12 sounds ready to truly make Tompa Bay his new home.
About This Sports Courier NFL Video: Six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady virtually chats with reporters at Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp! In this press conference, Brady discusses leaving the New England Patriots after 20 years, learning the Bucs playbook, his concerns about COVID-19, going all in on the 2020 NFL season, Gronk joining the team, the leadership of wide receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, players opting out, and how TB12 holds back Father Time. Footage courtesy of and provided by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization.
Transcript below courtesy of Bucs:
(On his adjustment to Tampa Bay, his new teammates, and if this transition has been an even bigger challenge than he had expected due to the pandemic)
“Yeah, I think every football season is a big challenge in one way or another. Obviously for me, changing teams after a long period of time [has] given me an opportunity to really look at myself and what I want to continue to achieve in my career and think that I can bring to a team. It’s been different having the opportunity over this time to move and to, for example, study my playbook. I mean I really haven’t had to do that in 19 years, so you forget, ‘Man, that’s really tough’ – like all of the different terminologies. You’re going back a very long time in my career to really have to put the mental energy in like I did. I have to work at it pretty hard physically still. I put a lot of time and energy into making sure I’m feeling good in order to perform at my best, but mentally I think that’s been the thing that’s obviously had its challenges. I think you couple that with the coronavirus situation and it became even more difficult. I think conversations we probably would’ve had in April, we’re having now. I think that part has been challenging too, but the only thing you can do is adjust to the situation, adapt the best way you can [and] put as much time and energy now as we can into it. I think the reality is, the clock is ticking on everybody. We’re going to have to work as hard as we can and not waste any minutes of any day trying to get used to one another. [We need to] embrace the challenge and see it as an opportunity to see what we can become.”
(On his interactions with General Manager Jason Licht and the coaching staff, and how important personal accountability is to the success of the team)
“First, I really enjoyed being with Jason [Licht] and getting to know Bruce [Arians], getting to know Byron [Leftwich] and Clyde [Christensen] and a bunch of guys that I competed against either as a player or with them as coaches. It’s been kind of fun in that way to see the different approaches to the game and so forth. Everybody sees football a little bit different. It’s about how we all see it together and how we can all be on the same page as we move forward. Ultimately, my goal is to go out there and do what I’ve always done, [which] is to be the best I could possibly be for the team. I’ve tried to catch passes in my career, I’ve tried to make blocks, I’ve had a few runs, but I’m not very good at any of those. I think my best ability is reading defenses and throwing the football. I think all of us being on the same page is something we’re really working hard at – to try to get on the same page after not having many opportunities. We haven’t had really a full-speed practice yet at all. I’m anxious to get that started, so I can start learning in a more typical way. It certainly has its challenges.”
(On if he gets the sense that the team is buying in to him as the quarterback and is ready to do whatever it takes to win)
“Again, all those things are to be determined for all of us as we move forward and the type of buy in [we have]. Really what you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it. You’ve got to work hard everyday to bring your best emotional energy, to be at your best physically [and] to learn to know what to do in order to be your best. The guys that I’ve been around – it’s been just that. Guys are working really hard to get to know one another. Again, we haven’t had any practices yet, so it’s hard. Football, throwing the ball around or a workout or something like that is a lot different than real football, being in the huddle and getting to know people in that way – knowing who you can really count on. I think you just have to do what you can with what we’re all dealing with, try to make the most of it and try to understand that the clock is ticking on all of us. We’ve got a lot of work to do in a very short amount of time.”
(On his concerns with COVID and his personal health)
“I think everyone’s learning every single day a little bit more. I think you just take these things one day at a time. I think we’ve all learned a lot over the last five or six months. I’ve always felt like taking care of my body was really important. Not just for football – because it has been my job – but my quality of life in the future. I’m under the belief that you either believe what you put into your body has an effect, or what you believe doesn’t have an effect. I think for me, in my experience, the better I’ve treated my body, the better I’ve eaten, the more hydrated I am, the better treatments I get, the more sophisticated my workouts have been, the better my body’s performed. For me it’s been, when something works, you do more of it. When you do more of it, you see better results. I’ve really tried to continue that throughout my career and build year after year. It’s given me a great opportunity to be at this age, still playing the sport that I love because mentally I still feel like I have all the ability. I’ve seen every defense, there’s [no] play I haven’t run, there’s no defense I haven’t seen. It’s just physically, are you still able to execute your job? I’m very fortunate to still be able to do that. I know it’s a contact sport and there are some things that are out of your control, but that’s a pretty good lesson for life, too. You don’t have everything in control in life, either. The best thing you can do is prepare your body, prepare your mind for whatever comes at it. You always have to be able to adjust and adapt as best as possible.”
(On the talent of Tampa Bay’s skill position players)
“We’ve had different times to workout together. It’s been good being here in the building and actually being directed by the coaches – ‘This is what we’re going to work on and these are the plays we’re installing’, so you have a better idea of how things are going to come together on the offense. The guys worked really hard and it’s been fun getting to know the receiver position. Obviously, none of the guys I’ve played with – Gronk’s the only guy I’ve played with, so I know what he can do. It’s really up to everybody to go out there and earn their role. I’ve always believed that you get out of it what you put into it. A lot of guys are working really hard and have been working hard because this is their career and they want to do a great job. Regardless of who the quarterback was it’s important for all of these guys. Football matters to Mike [Evans] and to Chris [Godwin]. I’ve loved being around those two guys who are not only great players, but great leaders. Cam [Brate] and O.J. [Howard] who have been here have been really great along with the other tight ends in the group. Dare [Ogunbowale], RoJo (Ronald Jones II), I met ‘Shady’ (LeSean McCoy) the other day on the practice field – it’s a good, hard-working group. Really smart players, and again, it’s going to be up to all of us to come together and to see how we can make it all work.”
(On when Tampa Bay will begin to feel like home for him both on and off the field)
“That’s a good question. Again, you’re trying to learn a bunch of different things and you’re trying to not only learn an offense, but learn your way to work or learn guys’ names. I didn’t even know where the quarterbacks’ room was or [where] the full team meeting room was. You get in here and your brain is trying to figure out a lot of different things. Every day that goes by it’s getting a little bit better. I’m glad we’re not playing a game this Sunday – I’m glad we have time to prepare. It’s been a good week or so being in here and I think I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity to improve myself so that I can be the best quarterback for this team that this team really deserves. These guys are working really hard and I want to come in here and do a great job for them.”
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