TAMPA, FL – Shortly after leaving the New England Patriots after 20 years, six Super Bowls, three NFL MVP’s and signing a two-year, $50 million contract, Tom Brady was officially introduced as the new quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Brady was introduced via teleconference and field a wide array of questions from various media outlets. In his opening remarks to the media, he stated “I’m kind of taking it day by day, the expectation 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 and I’m going try to do everything I can to get up to speed, with all the things I need to do and what my responsibilities are.”
Brady also acknowledged that he is very grateful for a chance to play football again, as he’ll be turning 43 this coming August, “I’m thankful to the Glazer family to give me an opportunity.” Brady would also add that he is very excited in meeting his new Bucs teammates and getting to work, “I look forward to meeting all my teammates and just doing everything I can to, you know for us to achieve what we set out”
In responding to a question from Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times about older quarterbacks such as John Elway and Peyton Manning in the twilight of their career relying more on the run game and defense, as well as Arian’s “no risk – no biscuit” offensive philosophy, Brady responded, “Well, I think I’ve obviously paid attention to him and his offense for a long time.”
Brady also acknowledged that there are some really talented on offense that’ll make his transition to both Tampa and Arian’s offense much easier and smoother, “There’s 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’s a lot of ground to make up because I haven’t worked with these players and I’m going to have to learn what they do and their body language and how they like things, and that’s part of the challenge and it’s unfortunate we’re going on 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 and we can really start working towards that, that’s what I’m going to do.”
When asked about the COVID-19 pandemic by Jerrett Bell from USA Today, Brady stated that everyone is facing “new realities for all of us”. Brady also stressed and reiterated that he taking things “day by day” is not making any predictions. When asked about his idol, Montana leaving after so many years with the Niners for the Kansas City Chiefs “I was at Joe’s last game (at Candlestick Park) with a friend, he (Montana) and Steve Young were his idols growing up,” Brady also reminisced about throwing footballs in the parking lot of Candlestick.
Ina question from Ben Bowlen of the Boston Globe and leaving New England, “Well, Again, I’m not responsible for, you know, how other people, you know, will say certain things, Mr. Kraft has been a great influence in my life and I’m so grateful for you know, two decades, and you know, I referenced that the other day. It’s been an amazing thing for my family and I’m sure when I’m done playing, I’ll look back and have a chance to reevaluate my entire career, but, you know, at the same time, I’m excited for this opportunity that I have and, you know, I can only speak to how I feel and I wrote about that on my social media the other day. And you know, this was getting to be a free agent and, you know, having the opportunity to join the Bucs was something that I was really excited about and that that’s where we’re at, That’s why we’re at where we’re at.”
When asked by Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsFan.com about what it was like to land the six-time Super Bowl champion, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians added that Brady was Tampa’s first choice if he were available in free agency, “He (Brady) was going our number one choice, mainly because he can make and do everything in our offense, but more than that and importantly was his leadership ability that we need in our locker room to get (us) where we want to go”
When asked about making the move from the Northeast down to the South by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Brady responded, “ Thanks for the question, You know, there’s a lot of change and you know, it’s just that you go from the Northeast to the South. The climate is different. My drive to work will be different. I mean, its—there’s a lot of things. It’s not like I’m 25, where I just pack a suitcase and go. I have three kids and, you know, it’s just changing a little bit of our life and that’s what people do and that’s what you do when you have opportunities, other jobs in other places.
When longtime Patriots beat writer, Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald asked Brady about what point did he proverbially cut the cord wit the Patriots, Brady said it was the night that he went to go talk to Pats owner, Robert Kraft, and that he has noting but good things to say about the organization, coaches and players, “nothing but total respect and love”.
With Brady now down in Tampa and the Patriots now suddenly looking for answers at QB, the Brady move to the Gulf Coast, has not only sent proverbial shockwaves throughout the whole NFL, but also made the NFC South even more interesting and Tampa Bay a must-see attraction this coming season.