Tom Brady has become the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lead recruiter, but it does not sound like the star quarterback had to do much to entice Le’Veon Bell to sign with the team. Bell revealed that his first conversation with Brady took place during practice and the quarterback wanted to make sure his new running back felt at home.
“I seen Tom in the meetings without meeting, so we couldn’t really talk, but once we got out here he kind of pulled me to the side,” Bell noted during his December 22 press conference. “He talked to me, let me know like, ‘Hey, if you need anything, I mean, anything ask me. Come to me before even coach.’ You know [what] I’m saying? Like, make sure that I’m comfortable, and I’m glad he did that because, he’s not a person I’ve ever like kind of talked to off the field.
“I played against him a couple times, but I never really talked to him, so today was like the first time I really had a conversation with him. It was good, it went well so they both [Brady and Antonio Brown] made me feel welcome, at home and I feel good.”
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Arians on Brady Recruiting Players: ‘Tom Calls You, You’re Going to Listen’
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has no problem admitting that Brady is a major selling point for players heading to Tampa Bay. After the Bucs signed Richard Sherman, Arians emphasized that Brady is a big-time recruiter.
“I think when you talk about a veteran player and you want to win a championship and Tom calls you, you’re going to listen,” Arians noted during his September 29 press conference. “You’re going to listen, especially after knowing the roster that we have. And so yeah, I think there’s probably a bunch of veterans out there wishing he’d call them.”
Bell: ‘You Can’t Really Turn Down Playing With Coach Arians and Tom Brady’
The Buccaneers posted a photo of Bell interacting with Brady during their first practice together. Bell reposted the picture on Twitter along with a goat emoji. The veteran running back admitted that the opportunity to play with Brady and rejoining Antonio Brown was too good to pass up, despite Bell contemplating retirement.
“I’m not even gonna lie, like I got to the point where I had thought about kind of calling it quits,” Bell explained. “Just because of the fact that like it kind of wasn’t working out for me for the last couple of spots I’ve been at. This was literally the only spot that I felt like could have made me want to play football and go out there and be excited to play.
“This was like literally the only place that could have called me and got me to really play, because I was going to start boxing and focusing on boxing, but I think this was a great opportunity. It’s something you can’t really turn down playing with Coach Arians and Tom Brady and obviously A.B. They got a good thing going over here and to come over here and try to help I’m gonna try to do my thing.”