Brady, who inked a two-year deal with the Bucs this offseason, is seen at Tampa Bay’s camp throwing a precise strike to his new weapon, Mike Evans.
Evans and Chris Godwin are both coming off monster seasons where each of them surpassed 1,000 receiving yards. Both are expected to thrive again in year-one of Brady’s Tampa Bay tenure.
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Examining Brady’s New Weapons
Brady arguably has as greatest of a collection of options he’s ever played with (Yes, Randy Moss was the greatest WR Brady has ever played with but those teams with Moss weren’t as stacked as this year’s Bucs).
Tampa Bay could run two tight ends in the way the Patriots did with Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez back in 2011. The team could do so without putting too much on any one tight end’s plate. Expect a rotation between, O.J. Howard, Rob Gronkowski, and Cameron Brate.
Not to mention, the Bucs also have all-pro Mike Evans, speedster Chris Godwin and Ronald Jones II at running back (who should be a sought after fantasy asset).
Some believe Brady will set career-highs, even at this late stage in his career.
“You know what, I’m gonna go out on a limb: He’s gonna thrash 2007,” Jones-Drew said, referring to Brady’s best season of his career (on a recent episode of NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football). “I think he’s gonna throw 55 touchdowns, 4,500 yards passing, close to 5,000. The Bucs are gonna be one of the toughest teams to stop, and that’s because the defense causes turnovers and will get him more opportunities.”
Let’s Not Forget About the Running Backs
Ronald Jones II is still expected to be the starter in Tampa Bay despite the recent LeSean McCoy signing. However, expect McCoy to handle much of the passing work, or at least as much as he can handle.
McCoy was a significant factor early in the 2019 campaign, though his efficiency took a hit as the season progressed. McCoy averaged 4.6 yards per carry last year, however, after week 8, he saw just 32 carries that netted 103 yards. He saw just one snap in the Super Bowl for Kansas City.The Harrisburg, PA-native has just 101 careers last year, which marked a career-low.
McCoy, who was the Eagles’ second-round pick back in 2009, proved to be valuable in Andy Reid’s system both in Philly and Kansas City as a receiver out of the backfield. Brady has utilized many receiving backs in his career, dating back to Kevin Faulk and most recently, James White and Rex Burkhead. McCoy should seamlessly fit into that role this season.
The passing game will be an area where McCoy will contribute, though his most important function may be pass-protection. Tampa lacks a running back with those proven skills. Bruce Arians had to pull Jones on many occasions last season because of his issues picking up the blitz. Rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn is just that: a rookie, and he shouldn’t be counted on to excel in this area. Fourth-stringer Dare Ogunbowale performed well last season in pass protection in very limited snaps, though the former Wisconsin Badger is no lock to make the roster.