Five receivers on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers injury report this week doesn’t have quarterback Tom Brady worried.
Brady expects the offense to keep running well regardless of who is playing amid the long list of injuries. The Bucs had five receivers — including stars Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Julio Jones — on the injury reports for Wednesday, September 14, and Thursday, September 15.
“Just that guys who are healthy have to go out there and practice and try to give us good looks,” Brady said during a press conference on Thursday. “A lot of young players have to get a lot of reps in. It’s a lot like the game … it’s not like we can stop the game or anything. We’ve just got to do what we’ve got to do and put the guys in the position to try to go make some plays.”
“You’d love to have everyone healthy all the time, but it’s really not the reality of football. It’s such a demolition derby out there for all of us,” Brady added. “And [you’ve] got to do your best to adjust to the situation, really no matter what it calls for.”
Brady: ‘We’re Going to Need That All Year’
Brady wouldn’t gush over Bucs running back Leonard Fournette‘s rushing in Week 1, but the veteran quarterback wants to see more of it at New Orleans on September 18.
“Because you’ve got to stay really balanced against these guys,” Brady said about the Saints. “I don’t think you can turn it into a pass-a-thon.”
It didn’t work for Brady and the Bucs last year where he threw the ball 40 times in a 36-27 loss at the Superdome. His 48 passing attempts didn’t go far enough in the 9-0 loss at home in 2021, too. The Bucs rushed the ball a grand total of 35 times between the two losses.
Tampa Bay committed to the run on Sunday, September 11, in a 19-3 win over the Dallas Cowboys with 33 rushing attempts for 152 yards. Fournette shouldered that load with 21 carries for 127 yards.
“He was great, and the [offensive] line was great, and the receivers blocked well, and there was good communication,” Brady said. “And, we’re going to need that all year.”
Brady only threw the ball 27 times at Dallas for 212 yards and a touchdown versus one interception. He noted that the offense’s red zone performance needs to improve. The Bucs produced four field goals, a missed field goal, and a touchdown in six red zone trips on Sunday.
Brady on Solving the Saints
Brady hasn’t led the Bucs past the Saints in the regular season yet despite the 2021 Divisional Round win on the way to Super Bowl LV. That 30-20 win marked the only time the Bucs won the turnover battle against the Saints during Brady’s tenure.
“That’s the thing that jumps out the most [is] turnovers,” Brady said. “They’re a very physical team. They beat us up physically. Just a tough, hard-nosed team. They’re well-coached.”
Brady contributed his share of turnovers in the four regular season losses with eight interceptions. He didn’t throw any in the playoff win.
“It’s gotta be good football on offense, defense, and special teams,” Brady said. “They’re too good of a team to think that you can win one phase and win the game.”