Brady: ‘We have high expectations for what we are trying to accomplish’

At the end of the 2021 season, rumors surfaced that Tom Brady may retire after 22 seasons, which he officially announced in February. 

However, he changed his mind in March and decided to return. On Thursday, the Buccaneers concluded Mandatory Minicamp, and Brady discussed many things, including his return to football, the possible return of Rob Gronkowski, rumors of joining the Dolphins, his relationship with Bruce Arians, upcoming 2022 NFL season.

(On his decision to return to football for another season)

“It feels like a long time ago. A lot has happened between now and then. It was just a lot of different things. It was awhile ago. I feel like I’ve kind of moved past that point to be honest. But I’m happy I’m back with my teammates. It’s going to be a great year. We’re going to work really hard. We have high expectations for what we are trying to accomplish. We’ve got a lot of good players – it doesn’t matter much – we’ve got to go out and do it. We’ve got to go earn it. We’ve got some competitive practices coming up. I’m most excited about this team and what we can try to accomplish.”

(On how he can improve his game in 2022 from his performance in 2021)

“In a lot of different ways. I think that’s a good question and it’s a good opportunity for us to all evaluate where we are at and what we need to do better. I always feel like there are things that can be improved on in different areas. I think how I evaluate myself and my teammates is very different than how other people would.”

(On the conversation with his family when he told them he was thinking of returning to football for another season)

“I think it’s really important. I said last week or two weeks ago – it’s very easy when you’re 25 to know what you want to do the next year. It’s very challenging when you’re 43 or 44 because there is a lot of other things that are pressing and a lot of other things that are really important in your life, like your kids and your wife and different relationships. Things have always taken a back seat to football – that’s just how it has gone for me. It’s challenging and I’ve just got to work at those things. It is part of what is challenging about things that happen in my life – just different decisions are made. I have a great life and I have zero complaints about it. I just try to do the best I can do. There are other significant, very important things that happen, and I think when the football season starts, everybody knows that it is 100 percent football. It’s just the way you have to be and it’s a big commitment to make. Then in order to play every game, you have to train really hard, so I’ve got to train really hard at 44 years old, which is a big commitment. To try to make those decisions has its challenges. It’s not like it was when I was 25. I don’t think any of us feel like we did when we were 25, but thankfully for good reasons there are parts where I am happy I’m not 25. Then there are other parts where I wish I felt like I was a little more like 25. I have a very complex, tricky life in different aspects and I’m just trying to navigate it the best way I can.”

(On the potential return of TE Rob Gronkowski)

“I think it’s just, obviously, totally up to him. We’d all love to play with him, but he’s got to make the best decision for himself, and he knows that. Anybody that cares about him knows that he is doing what’s right for him, which is trying to figure it out. We don’t have training camp for about six weeks, so whatever he has to do to figure it out. I think we will be hopeful if he does. And if he doesn’t, we’ve still got to go out there and figure out what to do.”

(On if the reports suggesting he and Arians had a strained relationship bothered him)

“See, I don’t read a lot of them. There are a lot of things that aren’t right that are said. I think the thing is – you try and come out and respond to everything that is not right [but] we don’t have to be right very often. We just have to be right every so often these days. I think if people click on it, then you read more of it, and obviously they’re clicking on it, so it’s what people want and what is talked about. It may not be accurate and that’s O.K. – I don’t make every pass either. I don’t complete every pass, so I understand not everyone can get it right all of the time.”

(On his relationship with Senior Advisor to the General Manager and former Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians and if there were any ‘substantive issues’ in their relationship)

“Zero whatsoever. He and I have a great relationship. I think that’s part of why I chose here was because of Bruce. He and I have been in incredible communication, and I have great respect for him. He knows how I feel about him, and that’s the most important thing. And I know how he feels about me.”

(On if there is any truth to the reports that he was interested in joining the Miami Dolphins in any capacity)

“Again, I had a lot of conversations with a lot of people as I’ve had for the last three or four years in my career about different opportunities when I am done playing football. I kind of made a decision of what I’d like to do. I’ll get to be in the game of football. I think the most important thing is where I’m at now and what I hope to do for this team. That has been my commitment to this team and organization. It’s been so much fun [since] I came here two years ago. It’s been almost two and a half years now, and it’s been an incredible part of my football journey. It’s not over – we’ve still got a lot to accomplish. I’ve got a long life ahead and there are a lot of fun things to do ahead. I’m looking forward to what’s ahead in football. But at the same time, none of us are promised much beyond what we have now, and this is the current moment. I’m really excited about going out there and trying to compete and win a championship.”

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