Brady on 6ooth touchdown pass: ‘I just think about all the guys that are sharing it with me’

On Sunday, the Buccaneers defeated the Bears at home 38-3, moving to 6-1 on the season – the team’s best start through seven games in franchise history. Tampa Bay led 21-0 at halftime and 38-3 at the end of the third quarter.

Also, Buccaneers QB Tom Brady achieved another milestone on Sunday. Brady became the first player in NFL history to throw 600 touchdown passes when he connected with Mike Evans on a nine-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.

After the game, Brady reflected on touchdown pass number 600.

“I just think about all the guys that are sharing it with me – that’s the reality,” Brady said. “There’s nothing about this sport that you do by yourself – it’s the ultimate team sport. It challenges you physically, mentally, emotionally every week, every day of practice. This I not a sport; you can just go out there and mail it in. It takes 100 percent of what you have every single day to go out there and be successful. I’m just grateful to have amazing teammates, coaches. To be able to do it for as long as I have is really an incredible blessing in my life. I have great family. I’ve got my little baby girl; she’s the biggest cheerleader in the world, and her two brothers, who are great cheerleaders, and mom who was out there today rooting. Great to have the family here and win a football game feels really good.”

Brady is playing at a very high level at age 44, and according to his head coach Bruce Arians, he’s not surprised by what Brady is doing.

“No, because every day he comes to practice looking like he’s 12,” Arians said about Brady. “I’ve played against him for so long. Yeah, the numbers, they’re staggering, and they’ll probably never be broken. I say that but who knows when the next Tom Brady is going to come. They are staggering, but when you watch him practice every single day, you don’t see the age.”

After Evans caught touchdown number 600, he unknowingly gave the ball to a fan. Ultimately, Evans got it back for Brady, which the seven-time Super Bowl winner appreciated.

“That was really cool,” Brady said. “I’ve got it in the bag over there – Mike Evans gave it away and said, ‘I’m sorry man, I’ll get it.’ I said it’s alright. I’m sure they’ll figure out a way to get it back. I don’t actually keep too many things, though, in that circumstance, I just felt like that might be a good one to keep.”

After seven games, Brady leads the league in passing yards(2,275) and touchdown passes(21), so what he’s doing is impressive, but are we really surprised?

Bucs place CB Carlton Davis on IR

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed cornerback Carlton Davis III(quad) on the Reserve/Injured list, the team announced on Thursday.

On Sunday, Davis injured his quad on special teams in Tampa Bay’s 19-17 victory over the Patriots. The fourth-year corner is expected to miss at least three weeks, but it could be longer. Tampa Bay has been decimated by injuries in the secondary this season, including injuries to Jamel Dean, Sean Murphy-Bunting. 

Last week, the team signed free agent corner Richard Sherman, who made his debut Sunday night.

“I’ve been coaching in this league over 20-21 years, and I’ve had a healthy secondary in maybe three or four of them, so it’s next man up,” Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said on Thursday. “Nobody is going to feel sorry for you. You’ve got to get them ready to play. It’s our job as coaches to get everybody ready to play when they come in the building. You survive and advance. It’s early in the season. I thought those other guys did a good job stepping in.”

Davis is Tampa Bay’s best corner, so he will definitely be missed, but as Arians said, it’s next man up.

Bucs’ Murphy-Bunting believes teams will be gunning for Buccaneers in 2021

In 2021, as world champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have a lot of teams gunning for them. Every team will give the Buccaneers their best shot.

Tampa Bay begins defense of its title on Thursday night at home against the Cowboys in the first regular-season game of the 2021 season.

Last season, with the addition of Tom Brady, Tampa Bay had a bullseye on their backs, but after winning a title, the bullseye definitely got bigger.

“Getting the guys that we got, obviously, you’re going to have a target on your back,” Buccaneers corner Sean Murphy-Bunting said on Sunday. “The media is behind us. A lot of people are like, ‘Oh, they have Tom Brady, they’re this that and the other,’ but at the end of the day, we have to prove it. We have to show up every day. We have to put in the work. Nothing is going to be handed to us. Nothing is going to be given to us. Just having that mindset and going to get it each and every play no matter who you are.”

After winning a championship, players get paid, do a lot of appearances, and sometimes, they come back less motivated, or “bigheaded” with bloated egos, but according to Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, that’s not the case with his team.

“I mean, our team knows it’s about winning,” Arians said. “It’s not about individual stats; it’s not about fantasy leagues. It’s just about winning ballgames and winning championships. So that part of it is really, really easy. For me, it’s more about managing their workloads than their egos.”

Tampa Bay brought back all of the key components from last year’s championship team. This is a very talented football team. In addition, the schedule seems manageable, as they play all the teams in the NFC and AFC East. 

However, just like with any team, health will be important. Brady is 44 years old and starting his 22nd NFL season, so at some point, he will have to start acting his age, or maybe not. At this point, he still has not fallen off the cliff.

Brady was solid in the playoffs, but the defense was even better, which won this team a championship. Can the Buccaneers repeat? The talent is there, but it won’t be easy. However, the last team to repeat was Brady’s Patriots in 2004, so maybe the G.O.A.T. can do it again.

Notes:

On Monday, the Buccaneers announced that defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh has been activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Suh was placed on that list last Saturday.

In addition, the Buccaneers waived kicker Jose Borregales.

 

Bucs’ Bruce Arians was not happy with offense on Wednesday

One thing we know about Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is he doesn’t mind telling the truth, and he doesn’t mind relating how he feels about his superstar quarterback.

On Wednesday, the Buccaneers began their joint practices with the Tennessee Titans in Tampa Bay, and according to Arians, Tom Brady did some things well and some things not so good.

“I didn’t think he was very sharp,” Arians said on Wednesday. “Our third-down percentage, I think, was really poor in that one. We took some shots downfield on first down [and] guys were open. He made some really good throws that were dropped, too. We’ll grade the tape, but I didn’t come off the field saying he wowed everybody.”

Arians added on the drop passes:

“They dropped it. Catch it. Sh**, [there] ain’t no excuse,” he said. “They’re perfectly thrown balls – you catch the damn thing.”

According to Brady, Tampa Bay has to learn from what went wrong on Wednesday before the season-opener against Dallas.

“We didn’t connect that much today, so hopefully, we can really learn from today,” Brady said. “I always hate not competing and then saying, ‘Oh, we’re going to learn from it.’ The reality is we’ve got to learn from when things don’t go well – how do we respond early, how do we respond in the middle, and how do we respond in the third quarter?

“I’ve been in games when we’ve been down a lot of points, and we came back and won. Just because it doesn’t go well early, you can’t just say, ‘Oh, you know it will be there tomorrow’ or ‘Let’s figure it out tomorrow.’ We’ve got a lot of learning to do, and we have to push it. We have a certain amount of time before Dallas. Every game is not going to be easy. Every play isn’t going to be easy, but we have to fight our way out of everything.”

This is why you have practices and the preseason, so teams can work through their mistakes and get right for the regular season.

Tampa Bay battles the Titans in preseason game number two on Saturday, and they continue their joint practices with Tennessee on Thursday.

Photo: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

Buccaneers’ Antonio Brown: ‘I’m still having fun, still an explosive player’

Last season, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown got an opportunity to resurrect his career when he signed with the team last October after he missed most of the 2020 season due to suspension.

Brown, who reunited with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay after the two spent time together in New England in 2019, took full advantage of his opportunity with the Buccaneers. In eight games for Tampa Bay last season, Brown had 45 receptions for 483 yards and four touchdowns. Ultimately, he helped the Buccaneers win a Super Bowl.

After recovering from knee surgery in the offseason, Brown re-signed with the Buccaneers as he agreed to a one-year deal.

Brown has been impressive at training camp. According to Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, the 33-year-old Brown looks like the guy he saw four or five years ago in terms of his speed.

“This is the healthiest he’s been in a few years,” Arians said on Monday. “He probably needed that procedure, but he wouldn’t do it. That first surgery is always tough. It’s amazing – I was actually talking to Emmanuel Sanders last night about [it]. That’s his first surgery is amazing. It’s remarkable how he takes care of himself. Yeah, he’s playing at a speed I saw four or five years ago.”

Brown added: “I’m putting my hand in the pile and putting my conditioning on display. I don’t take for granted being here. [I’m] thankful I have great health. I thought that [Dr. Neal Elattrache] did a great job along with the team doctors, team staff, and Alex Guerrero. I’ve got the best training guys here. I’m just happy to be here right now and do what I love and play football.”

The 11-year veteran was asked how long he expects to play in the NFL on Monday, and he said the following:

“We’ll see. I’m still having fun, still an explosive player, and still love to play the game,” Brown said. “So, hopefully, it’ll be a long time.”

With Brown, Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard, Leonard Fournette, and more. Tampa Bay has many weapons on offense, and if that offense can stay healthy, they will be tough to stop in 2021.

Arians: ‘We’re still a very explosive offense with Tom(Brady), but we have eliminated a lot of turnovers

In 2019, with Jameis Winston at the quarterback position, Tampa Bay had a very explosive offense. They averaged 28.6 points per game, which was tied for third in the NFL that season. In addition, they averaged close to 400 yards of offense. They were explosive, but all was not well on the offensive side of the ball.

Tampa Bay committed 41 turnovers, including 30 interceptions from Winston. The 41 turnovers were the worst in the league, and Tampa Bay was -13 in turnover differential. After 2019, Tampa Bay knew they needed to upgrade the quarterback position, and the Buccaneers did when they signed the great Tom Brady. 

The 43-year-old Brady has come in and changed things dramatically for Tampa Bay. In 2020, the Buccaneers committed only 17 turnovers and were +8 in turnover differential. Winston threw 33 touchdowns in 2019, while Brady threw 40 in 2020. Tampa Bay averaged 30.8 points per game this season, but the most significant difference is the interceptions. Brady threw only 12 this season. 

Only Wednesday, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians discussed what Brady has brought to the offense.

“I think the biggest difference is obviously in the turnover ratio,” Arians said. “Eliminating turnovers, creating more turnovers, and protecting the football. We’re still a very explosive offense with Tom, but we have eliminated a lot of turnovers. Just his overall leadership…

“He(Brady) knows how to take care of himself, and he’s a great, great player. His preparation reminds me so much of Peyton Manning. Those two guys set the bar as far as preparation for the guys that I have coached. Ben [Roethlisberger] didn’t like that stuff. He just wanted to go play, and he knew what he was doing. You didn’t want to overload him. Andrew Luck was the same way – he was so smart. All of these guys have a grit about them that they can will themselves on other people and make them win.”

With what the Kansas City Chiefs can do on offense, Brady and the Buccaneers’ offense will need to be at their best for the team to get it done on Sunday, and based on what we’ve seen this season, expect Brady to be ready.

 

 

 

Brady leads the Buccaneers to Super Bowl LV

Tom Brady was brought to Tampa Bay to lead the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl, and on Sunday, he did just that. Behind a strong defense that sacked Packers QB Aaron Rodgers five times and forced two Green Bay turnovers, the Buccaneers were able to punch their ticket to Super Bowl LV by defeating the Packers 31-26 at Lambeau Field.

With the victory, Tampa Bay will become the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium. Also, the Buccaneers are the first No. 5 seed in NFL history to defeat a No. 1 seed in a conference championship game, and the 43-year-old Brady will make his 10th Super Bowl appearance. 

Brady, who went 20-of-36 for 280 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions on Sunday, is proud of his team’s journey.

“This is the ultimate team sport,” Brady said after the game. “We’ve had a lot of people work really hard over the course of a period of time to get to this point. It’s a tough journey to get here, so to go on the road and win another road playoff game is just a great achievement. Now, a home Super Bowl for the first time in NFL history, I think, puts a lot of cool things in perspective. Any time you’re the first time doing something, it’s usually a pretty good thing. Now we’ve just got to go have a great two weeks, prepare for whoever it is and be ready to go.”

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians added: “I couldn’t be happier for our players – they put in so much work – and our coaching staff has done such a great job. Ownership gave us everything that we’ve needed, and I just couldn’t be any more elated for these guys and the job they put in. We had both backup safeties in there, just playing their [butts] off. It was a great team win.”

While Brady had his moments in this game, this was about Tampa’s defense. The Buccaneers defense leads all playoff teams with seven takeaways and 41 points off takeaways, and they did a great job of shutting down Rodgers and the Packers in the fourth quarter(3 points), which Arians discussed after the game.

“I can’t say enough about them,” he said about Tampa’s defense. “They’ve been great in the fourth quarter all year, and we got some great stops. Took a couple chances on offense and tried to get more points – it didn’t work out, but they came back and got the ball right back for us.”

Buccaneers OLBs Shaquil Barrett(3.0 sacks) and Jason Pierre-Paul(2.0 sacks) combined for all of the team’s 5.0 sacks in the game. The 5.0 sacks on Sunday matched the Buccaneers’ postseason record for a single game. According to Pierre-Paul, this defense has played at a high level all year long. 

“We closed the game out,” Pierre-Paul said. “Tom [Brady] closed the game out, and that was it. Don’t get me wrong, Aaron Rodgers is a great quarterback – a phenomenal quarterback. It’s sad that he didn’t make it, but I’d rather them than us, you know? The defense just showed up like we showed up last year, this year, and the whole year.”

Many will talk about the Packers head coach Matt LaFleur’s decision to kick a field goal late in the game on fourth and goal with Green Bay trailing 31-23. With a little over two minutes, the Packers had three timeouts, plus the two-minute warning, so in essence, they had four timeouts if they would’ve gotten stopped. Plus, they had Rodgers, who finished the game with 346 yards passing, three touchdowns, and one interception. However, Arians thought it was the right call.

“I thought they had a lot of confidence in their defense at that point in time,” he said. “I thought it was a good move by them.”

Barrett was surprised by the decision.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Barrett said. “I know if they could take that back, they probably wouldn’t do that next time.”

Ultimately, the Packers would not get the ball back.

Brady and the Buccaneers still have one more game to win to make this season the ultimate success, but for now, getting to Super Bowl is a massive accomplishment for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bucs’ Arians on beating Saints: ‘It was not a shock to us that we won – we went there expecting to win’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went into New Orleans with a lot working against them. First, they were swept by the Saints this season and were outscored 72-26 in those games. Next, they had lost five straight to New Orleans, and finally, the Saints were 7-2 at home, including the playoffs this season.

However, the playoffs are a different animal, and we saw a different Buccaneers team out there against the Saints. The Buccaneers, who committed six turnovers against the Saints in 2020, protected the ball and ended the game with no turnovers, and they forced four Saints’ turnovers, which led to 21 points. They were able to run the ball effectively and finished the game with 127 yards on the ground, which was more than they had in two games against New Orleans.

Based on what happened in the regular season, some might have been surprised by Sunday’s outcome. According to Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, he was not surprised and expected the Buccaneers to beat the Saints in the Divisional Round.

“It boosts the confidence for sure, but we went there expecting to win,” Arians said on Monday. “It was not a shock to us that we won – we went there expecting to win. We’re such a different team than when we played back in November. Same thing – Green Bay’s a different team than we played back then, so those games don’t really matter anymore.”

Buccaneers DT Ndamukong Suh was happy that the team got another shot at the Saints this season.

“I think it’s definitely having the mindset of understanding that you kind of control your own destiny from a standpoint of how we got into the playoffs and how we finished off into the playoffs being the fifth seed and controlling our mindset in that aspect,” Suh said. “Then, knowing we needed to get on the road and take care of business against Washington and then see where the chips fell. That had us going back to New Orleans, which I was happy about from a standpoint [that] as a team, we needed to go out, challenge and beat [the Saints], which we were fortunate enough to do in a good fashion from the defensive side of the ball [by] getting so many turnovers. 

“My intent is all about the keys for us continuing to play at a high level. I think for a young guy like [Devin White] to recognize that and see that as an important piece and knowing that we need to stay focused on that as well as executing, we should be in a good place going into this Packers game.”

The Buccaneers blew out the Packers 38-10 in Week 6. However, that game was in the regular season and played in Tampa Bay. The NFC Championship Game will be in Green Bay. Both of these teams are different now, and we’ll find out how different come Sunday.

Bucs’ Arians believes team has to be better defensively if they want to win in Divisional Round

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got their first playoff victory since the 2002 season on Saturday night when they defeated the Washington Football Team 31-23 at FedEx Field in the wild card game.

Tom Brady was solid against Washington. The 43-year-old Brady went 22-of-40 for 381 yards and two touchdowns. His 381 passing yards set a new single-game franchise postseason record. The postseason win was the 31st of Brady’s NFL career, which are the most playoff wins by any player in league history.

“I think it’s good to win and advance,” Brady said after the game. “If we don’t play well next week, we’re not going to be happy. [I’m] glad we won [and] glad we have another week of work. We’re going to go in there and try to do a much better job this week and get ready for whoever our opponent is – it’s going to be a good one. We’re going to have to go play great football.”

According to Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate, who caught four passes for 80 yards – the second-most receiving yards by a tight end in Buccaneers playoff history, Tampa Bay did not play their best football on Saturday, but he’s happy to get the victory.

 “Super excited about the win,” Brate said. “We didn’t play our best game, but I thought Washington really played us well. Offensively, they made a bunch of plays. Defensively, they presented a big challenge with the guys they have up front. We didn’t play our best game, but at this point of the year, a win is a win.”

Tampa Bay’s defense allowed Washington QB Taylor Heinicke, who started for an injured Alex Smith, to throw for 306 yards and a touchdown and an interception. Heinicke also rushed for 46 yards and added a touchdown on the ground. 

After the game, Arians was asked if the team’s performance against Washington was good enough to win in the Divisional Round, he said the following:

 “No, this performance defensively, it wouldn’t be,” Arians said. “Offensively, it would be. We’ll show up and see. I think some of our guys – I don’t think veterans did, but some of our younger guys – might have relaxed when Alex Smith wasn’t playing. I kind of kept preaching at them, ‘This kid can run, he can do a lot of things.’ He almost beat us with his legs. I’m never going to apologize for winning, and next week’s next week.”

If the Saints defeat the Bears on Sunday, the fifth-seeded Buccaneers will head to New Orleans to battle the second-seeded Saints, who beat Tampa Bay twice this season. However, Arians believes his team is much better now than they were when New Orleans blew them out in Tampa Bay 38-3 back in November.

“It doesn’t matter. We’re playing – that’s all that matters,” Arians said. “We’re a better football team than the last time we played the Saints – if we go there. It doesn’t matter to me.”

The Buccaneers live to fight another day. Now, for this season to be memorable, they must continue to win, and they will have that opportunity next weekend in the Divisional Round. However, they do need to play better.

Brady: ‘Playoff football is pretty special’

Tom Brady got the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the playoffs for the first time since 2007, and now he is hoping to get this franchise a second Super Bowl title. The journey begins on Saturday night when Tampa Bay(11-5) travels to D.C to battle the Washington Football(7-9) in the wild-card game.

As they enter the playoffs, Brady and the Buccaneers’ offense has been rolling. Tampa Bay has averaged 40 points a game, and in those three contests, Brady has thrown for 1137 yards with 10 touchdowns and only one interception.

The 43-year-old Brady looks comfortable in this offense, and they are flourishing on that side of the ball at the right time. 

“I’d say every week is getting a little bit better and a little bit more consistent [with] better communication,” Brady said about the offense on Thursday. “We’re all understanding each other a little bit better each week. Football season is tough – there’s a lot of things to coordinate, there’s a lot of moving parts, different players, and in and out, you’re running different schemes. But I think we’ve just tried to not take the foot off the gas pedal [and] tried to understand each other a little bit better each week and try to put ourselves in a decent position.”

According to Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay will be tough to beat if they continue to score at this level.

“I don’t think with our defense we’re going to lose too many games if we can score 37,” he said. “I’m really satisfied with 30.”

During his 20 seasons with the Patriots, Brady has missed the playoffs only once, and according to the six-time Super Bowl winner, being in the playoffs is a privilege.

“Any time you make the playoffs, it’s a good feeling, and it’s a great opportunity to be playing this weekend. A privilege, I think, for all of us, he said. “I think we want to go make the most of it. Playoff football is pretty special to be a part of, and I’ll be excited to be out there Saturday night…

“I think it’s a different newness, but the same excitement to be ready to go out there and take a bunch of teammates. Going on the road in the playoffs is a tough thing to do. We’re a team that’s made a bunch of improvements over the course of the year, and we have to be at our best. That’s what this part of the season is all about. Regular season is what it is. You put it in the books [and] we’re here to win playoff games.”

Tampa Bay should beat Washington on Saturday; they are just the better team. However, it’s one game, and anything can happen, but with Brady at the helm, expect the Buccaneers to make it to the divisional round of the playoffs.