When Tom Brady joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, there were questions if he could still throw deep.
Brady put those doubts to rest last season, but he took things to another level more recently. He launched a football high enough into the sky that the special effects in his Instagram video made it look like it hit the moon and blew it up. He did it for his health and wellness company, TB12 Sports, to promote electrolyte powder. “Little bit of electrolytes go a loooooooong way,” Brady wrote.
Bucs offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs liked it. “To the moon,” Wirfs wrote.
Brady will have Wirfs and the rest of the offensive line back this fall as the Bucs became the first Super Bowl-winning team since 1979 to return all 22 starters this offseason. Brady had solid protection last season, which helped him have a career year with 4,633 passing yards, 40 touchdowns, and only 12 interceptions amid completing 65.7 percent of his passes.
He shattered doubts about being able to throw effectively down field at the age of 43 last fall. Pro Football Focus confirmed his effectiveness when throwing 20 yards or further where he placed No. 1 in three categories among NFL quarterbacks. He completed 44 passes, threw for 1,498 yards, and scored 14 touchdowns when going deep.
Brady Looked Sharp in Minicamp
Brady turned heads last week when he suited up to practice in the Bucs’ mandatory minicamp.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians originally planned to have Brady coach instead of practice as the quarterback had offseason knee surgery. Brady had already been throwing to Bucs receivers in informal workouts, separate from the Bucs organized team activities.
“The doctors and him, they both said he is good to go and to be careful with what we are doing with him,” Arians said per WFLA’s Gabrielle Shirley. “He had some really good third or fourth options to Jaydon Mickens today … really pleased with the receivers today.”
Brady wasn’t perfect at minicamp as safety Curtis Riley picked him off during red zone drills on June 9. Unfortunately, the Bucs lost Riley to injury two plays later.
Sky-High Expectations for 2021
Brady and company are early favorites to win a second-straight Super Bowl in the 2021 season, but the longtime veteran quarterback knows the pitfalls of this scenario quite well.
His New England Patriots teams failed five out of six times to repeat, including a Super Bowl LII loss. The Patriots failed repeat attempts with Brady also ended in the AFC Championship in 2016, the Divisional Round in 2006, the Wild Card round in 2020, and the 2003 Patriots didn’t make the playoffs.
Brady and the Patriots had the last Super Bowl repeat in 2004, and no team has done it since. Brady doesn’t expect an easy road for the Bucs, even with all of the team’s continuity and progress.
“I think the assumption comes from the belief that it’ll just be exactly like it was last year,” Brady said in a June 9 press conference per Buccaneers.com’s Scott Smith. “I think that’s what you’ve got to not fall into, is that, ‘Oh that’s the way it worked last year so that’s the way it will be this year.'”