The Tom Brady-era is in full swing at Buccaneers’ headquarters. Although the lack of OTA’s may have slowed him down, he came into training camp with a head start on some, as he conducted offseason workouts with many of his teammates against the NFLPA’s wishes.
Brady, who already has an impactful connection with top wideout Mike Evans, is rapidly working on getting on the same page with his teammates and coaches, something that will be key for him and Tampa Bay to do if they want a chance at taking home the NFC South crown and putting themselves in position to make a lengthy postseason run.
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Tom Brady, Bruce Arians Co-Existing With Clashing Styles
When Brady signed with the Buccaneers, it was a curious fit, ass Thomas Bassinger details in the latest edition of the Football Outsiders Almanac, a must-read for an in-depth look at the Bucs and all 32 NFL teams heading into the 2020 campaign.
It’s a curious fit from a football standpoint, too. Though Brady and Arians might downplay their philosophical differences, make no mistake, Brady does not share Arians’ “no risk it, no biscuit” mentality. “Football, to me, is about throwing the ball to the guy that is open,” he said at his introductory
news conference. “If he is open deep, that is where you throw
it, and if he’s open short, you throw it there.”
That’s not how Arians rolls. From his book, The Quarter-
back Whisperer: “I constantly told Andrew (Luck) to take a shot if the defense appeared vulnerable based on its pre-snap formation. ‘If it’s third-and-3 and you got T.Y. (Hilton) on a deep route, then throw the f-cking ball to T.Y.,’ I’d tell Andrew. ‘I don’t care that we only need 3 yards. Throw the ball to T.Y.’”
Heck, they even have different views on hydration. Brady, from his book, The TB12 Method: “Reduce or eliminate your intake of caffeine, soda, and alcohol. All three can be dehydrating.”
Arians’ motto: “Win or lose, we booze.”
Brady and Arians will likely both have to make concessions. Not having a preseason robbed us of any chance to get a grasp on how the pairing will work together on gameday prior to Tampa Bay’s first regular-season contest against the Saints.
Warning Signs for Brady’s Decline
Talk of Brady’s decline has been an ongoing theme in media circles for what seems like a decade but how serious is it in the year 2020?
The six-time Super Bowl champion lowest touchdown total (24), touchdown rate (3.9%), and completion percentage (60.8%) of his career in 2019, something fueled by a combination of injuries around him in the New England offense, a lack of explosive weapons, and perhaps age catching up to Brady.
His efficiency over the second half of the 2019 season may seem alarming but as Bassinger notes, full-season performance is much more predictive than half-season performance. Still, there’s a ton of reasons to believe that quarterbacks, at the age of 43, simply can’t get it done: one being that there haven’t been any. No player at that age has ever surpassed 1,000 passing yards.
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