Tom Brady’s reputation for coaching younger players in New England was spotty, at best. That’s not the case with the Buccaneers, though, according to coach Bruce Arians.
“It’s been a joy. It’s been awesome,” Arians said during a Wednesday morning appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.” “I didn’t know that Tom took so much time with young players and coached them. It’s one thing for me to say ‘When you’re coming out of your break, your arms aren’t pumping,’ and they say ‘Sure.’ Then Tom says it, they go ‘Oh, really?’ And they do it.”
While it usually felt more like outward speculation than total truth, Brady did spend lots of time with the Patriots honing in on his established receivers rather than rookies. Some criticized him later in his career for not participating in OTAs, which would’ve provided more opportunity for chemistry with new faces.
But in his first year in Tampa Bay, Brady has both played well and made a good impression on Arians. Statistically, Brady’s thrown for 36 touchdowns, his highest total since 2015, while totaling 4,234 yards and completing 65.9 percent of his passes. Arians pointed out Wednesday that it’s more than just the numbers, though.
“It’s like, I appreciate you, brother,” Arians said. “It’s like having another coach on the field for sure.”
As far as young players go, the Buccaneers offense isn’t filled with them. Much of Brady’s work is with veteran wideouts Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, along with established tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate. But there are younger players, like Ronald Jones and Scotty Miller, who have had the best seasons of their short NFL careers working with Brady.
Of course, this is the part wher you can make a joke about every player on Tampa Bay being younger than the 43-year old Brady. Very true.
It’ll all have a chance to pay off for Brady starting next week in the playoffs. Tampa Bay wants to win in Week 17 to secure the No. 5 seed in the NFC and a first-round matchup against the NFC East champion. Beyond that, Brady and the Buccaneers have a chance to be the first team to play in the Super Bowl in their home stadium. Super Bowl 55 will be played on Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Apparently, Brady will be happily bringing not just the veterans but the younger players right along with him.