Despite putting up impressive statistics and winning a Super Bowl in his first season with the Buccaneers, Tom Brady has spoken candidly about the obstacles he has dealt with over the past year - both mentally and physically.
Beyond having a torn MCL in his left knee for a majority of the year (which has since been corrected), Brady’s adjustment to an entirely new franchise and coaching scheme went through notable, sometimes very public ups and downs. A global pandemic and the subsequent limiting of camp last season primarily exacerbated that transition, but now Brady is feeling better than ever with the language and terminology.
With a bit of hoarse voice that’s still getting into regular season shape, Brady spoke Thursday morning about how he was still deciphering formations 3 weeks into camp in 2020.
Brady talks about how far he’s come in the last year with the Bucs, learning the language and terminology of a new offense. pic.twitter.com/BuYGRrcajR— Greg Auman (@gregauman) August 12, 2021
“What does Tampa Right mean? I don’t even know what that he means,” he said with soft chuckle. “Now it all just kind of rattles off your tongue. You get used to similar ideas and concepts but they’re all named differently, kind of like English and Spanish. You literally have to learn a different language.”
He went to explain that on top of learning those concepts for himself, he also had to factor in how well his teammates understood them while also taking into account the understanding of opposing defenses.
These trials can stymie anyone, from fresh-faced 24-year-olds to a 44-year-old mastermind like Brady. That said, he’s feeling much better about his transition in Year 2 of being the Buccaneers’ signal caller.
“There’s a lot of different challenges that you face, and I think this year for me, mentally, it’s been much better, much easier to kind of assimilate my way into camp,” Brady said. “Physically, I feel great. Best I’ve felt, really, in a long time.”
In terms of preparation, Brady also spoke positively about rookie Kyle Trask’s adjustment to the pro level thus far and reminisced how learning the game evolved for him over the years.
“(Trask) is a very hard worker,” Brady said. “Clyde works extremely hard with him to get him ready to go. Kyle’s out here early, stays late.
“You don’t know what you don’t know at this point. One year in or two years in, three years in, or five years in, or for someone 22 years in...what I knew at 5 years in is very different than what I knew at 10 or how I feel now.”
Ultimately, it looks like Tampa’s quarterback room is smooth sailing as the season nudges closer with every passing day. It’ll be interesting to see how Brady, Trask, Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin have their workload divvied up come Saturday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.