For the first time since the turn of the century, Tom Brady is not in Patriots training camp as the NFL season begins.
Instead, the 43-year-old six-time Super Bowl winner is in camp with the Buccaneers, the team he signed a two-year contract with in March.
And while the Patriots are currently in unfamiliar territory trying to replace their legendary quarterback, Brady himself is in an equally strange situation as he acclimates to his new surroundings.
His new coach, Bruce Arians, was asked if he was concerned with the lack of live competition reps Brady will get before meaningful games due to the circumstances of COVID-19.
“He’s probably the least of my worries right now,” Arians told reporters Thursday. “He’s where he needs to be. We need to get more live reps. Blocking, tackling — this game’s a blocking and tackling game. Fourteen days to block and tackle. Is that enough? And I hate tackling ourselves. We don’t want to road-block ourselves, but we’ve gotta get ready to play a game. I think that’s the biggest disadvantage — not being in pads and not playing fast.”
The Buccaneers open the season on Sept. 13 against the defending NFC South champion New Orleans Saints.
As Tampa Bay ramps up in its preparations, Arians mentioned one thing he’s looking forward to watching from his veteran quarterback.
“Just playing fast,” Arians said. “He knows what he’s doing. But now the speed is going to pick up for the first time for him. Seeing how he processes the information that he thinks he knows and we’ll find out what he does know and doesn’t know at a much higher pace, and we haven’t gone against our defense and we’re very complicated defensively, so it’ll be a lot of fun for him.”
And while Brady is, by any measurement, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, Arians dismissed the notion that he gets star treatment.
“He gets cussed out like everybody else,” Arians joked. Asked if that had happened to Brady yet, the Buccaneers coach noted that it was a misunderstanding.
“He did a little bit yesterday because he likes to throw the ball in walk-throughs and we don’t throw the ball in walk-throughs,” Arians said. “But not very bad.”
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