That’s the way Bucs insider Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times sees it. Stroud reported that Brady’s reason for stepping aside “doesn’t appear resolved” amid the quarterback’s answers to the media.
Brady called his decision “personal” and that “there’s a lot of s— going on” in his life. He added “just gotta try to figure out life the best you can” and that “it’s a continuous process.”
“That much was clear in his reflective post-game address,” Stroud noted. “He’s still tormented by something unrelated to football.”
ESPN analysts also voiced concerns about Brady’s demeanor. Dan Orlovsky, a former NFL quarterback, described it as “regret almost” and [he] “sounds defeated”. Mike Greenberg noted Brady’s personal life “isn’t any of our business, but we all know that when you are having trouble … it can bleed into every other part of your life” during the “Get Up” show on Monday, August 29.
Brady told reporters he’s “ready to go” and that “he feels good” after going 6-8 with 44 yards in one drive against the Indianapolis Colts on August 27. The Bucs kick off the regular season against the Dallas Cowboys on September 11.
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Brady’s Protection a Clear Worry
Personal issues aside, Brady faces an immediate concern on the football field — a banged up offensive line that’s relying on unproven players.
NBC Sports’ Peter King highlighted the Bucs interior offensive line as one of the “five units” league wide that “would worry me entering the season if I were a coach of one of these teams” in his weekly column. The Bucs lost Pro Bowlers Ryan Jensen to injury and Ali Marpet retirement plus veteran Alex Cappa to free agency. The injuries to Tristan Wirfs, Aaron Stinnie, and Robert Hainsey piled on in the past week.
“Not to say those things can’t be overcome, but, for instance, the constant battering the Bucs’ line has taken since the retirement of Ali Marpet is going to be felt at some point early this season by a 45-year-old quarterback,” King wrote.
Orlovsky likewise voiced Brady’s protection as a major concern going into the season.
“A quarterback knows the reality of your protection. We can’t sit here and say that we are just going to assume that this offensive line is going to be capable enough,” Orlovsky said on “Get Up” on Monday. “If they don’t keep him remotely upright, we are not going to see another MVP type of performance. Or, if he does, my goodness, it’s his greatest ever.”
Analyst Sees Way for Brady, Bucs to Thrive
Former NFL general manager and current ESPN analyst Mike Tannenbaum sees a way for Brady and the Bucs to survive with a beleaguered offensive line.
“There’s enough tactics early [in the season],” Tannenbaum said on “Get Up” on Monday. “Max protection. Use your [running back] and tight ends more in protection, which is not ideal. You’re less explosive, but I think there’s enough talent there.”
“They don’t have to be an ‘A’ on offense,” Tannenbaum added. “They have a chance to have a dominant defense, so when you look at overall … how they win early could be different than how they win late.”