After spending his entire career with one franchise and one head coach, there was some uncertainty surrounding Tom Brady’s move to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and head coach Bruce Arians. Brady would have to learn a brand new offensive system and work from scratch to create a rapport with his new teammates, and he would have to do it during a pandemic-shortened offseason. With a few weeks of training camp in the books, the early results are in and those concerns have been quelled.
Arians joined CBS Sports Network’s ‘We Need To Talk’ to give an inside look at Brady’s transition and what it has been like to coach the future Hall of Famer. According to Arians, in addition to leading the first-team offense at quarterback, Brady has essentially doubled as another coach on the field.
“He has a great rapport with young players, building their confidence,” Arians said. “He’s like a second coach on the field. It’s one thing for coaches to tell them, but when Tom says it, they probably listen to him more than the coach.
“Tom is a joy to coach. He asks so many questions. Wants to know so many things. Why we call it one thing. He’s like Peyton [Manning]. I call Peyton a piranha — he can never have too much information.”
Any concerns about Brady’s age (he turned 43 this month) catching up to him can also be put to rest. Brady has been making all of the throws throughout training camp — and in Arians’ vertically-oriented passing attack, he has been asked to stretch the field early and often. Making the transition from New England winters to Decembers in Tampa Bay also makes it more likely Brady won’t experience any kind of late-season drop-off in arm strength.
“Tom is Tom,” Arians said. “He’s brilliant. He’s got a great stroke with the ball and can make every throw still. He raises the level of expectation around everybody — and accountability too.”
And while it’s obvious that Brady won’t have the kind of rapport he developed with Julian Edelman right away with anyone other than Rob Gronkowski — who, as Arians told Andrea Kramer, is running around again like he did before the injuries piled up — the quarterback has done everything in his power to accelerate the process of getting on the same page with his receivers. His new receiving corps already learned a classic Brady truism — hold onto the football when it comes your way or don’t expect to see it again.
“He set the tone when he got those guys together and working out this summer,” Arians said. “He said if you want the ball, don’t drop it. Everyone got the message, and if not, they passed it on to their teammates. When they wanted to know ‘why did Brady go there?’ It’s because he doesn’t drop it.”
The Brady in Tampa era is off to an excellent start and Arians is the perfect coach to usher in the second and potentially final act of his career.