Tom Brady is making sure the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ramping up their intensity as the team returns from a bye week to make their playoff push. Ronald Jones relayed the message Brady gave to the team as the Bucs returned to practice as the quarterback emphasized there are no more excuses.
“It’s time for guys to step up, there’s no more rookies or anything like that,” Jones described Brady’s message, via Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud.
Brady relayed similar words during an interview with Buccaneers.com’s Casey Phillips. The Buccaneers quarterback noted that it is a “time where we’ve all got to put everything aside” to give the team the best possible chance to succeed.
“I know we haven’t won all our games,” Brady explained. “I wish certainly we had, but that’s not the reality of what’s taken place. But we have a lot of football left to play and I’m hoping that all the work we’ve done has really set the table for this point in the season. This is the time where we’ve all got to put everything aside, focus on what we need to do in order to be at our very best. If we do that, I think we’ll all be happy with the outcome.”
Arians on Brady’s Play: ‘I Don’t See Any Drop at All’
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has not held back this season when he felt Brady needed to improve. Despite these moments, Arians believes Brady is still playing at the level he was at when the quarterback was with the Patriots.
“I don’t see any drop at all,” Arians said, via Pro Football Talk. “I’ve had some veteran guys that needed Wednesdays off and he’s not one of those guys. He’s amazing that way and how he takes care of himself. He’s helped a lot of young players learn about taking care of themselves also.”
Arians has worked with other great quarterbacks throughout his career including Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. The Bucs coach noted that it has “been fantastic” working with Brady so far this season.
“It’s been fantastic,” Arians explained. “From day one, getting him here [and] watching him prepare and help young players get better. He’s a joy to coach and he’s a fantastic competitor. I love that about him. He’s been there and done it and he’s helped so many of our guys who haven’t [been there] believe that they can. That’s a huge part of it and I couldn’t ask any more out of him.”
Heading into Week 14, the Bucs Are the No. 6 Seed in the NFC
Heading into their big matchup against the Vikings, the Buccaneers sit as the No. 6 seed in the NFC at 7-5, but a loss to Minnesota would have them swap positions in the playoff standings. It would also put their postseason future very much in doubt with the 6-6 Cardinals sitting just outside the playoff picture. The Bucs would play the No. 3 Rams on the road if the postseason started today.
This week is likely the most difficult matchup remaining on their schedule as the Bucs face the Falcons twice along with the Lions to close out the season. A win against the Vikings would greatly increase the Buccaneers’ chances of making the postseason, but Tampa Bay already has an 84 percent chance to reach the playoffs, per FiveThirtyEight.