TAMPA, Fla. — Slightly greater than two weeks away from the beginning of the NFL season, Tom Brady is settling into a brand new dwelling.
Not the sprawling mansion the six-time Tremendous Bowl champion is renting from baseball Corridor of Famer Derek Jeter, however reasonably Raymond James Stadium — stomping grounds of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in addition to the positioning of the subsequent Tremendous Bowl.
The Bucs practiced Friday at their regular-season dwelling for the primary time since Brady joined them in free company, taking a break from their regular coaching camp routine to present him and his new teammates an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the environment.
The 43-year-old quarterback led landing drives on two of 4 collection he labored throughout a full scrimmage, together with a 98-yard march to start the session.
Brady smiled when requested if he skilled “butterflies” earlier than taking the sphere underneath game-like circumstances for the primary time since ending a historic 20-year run with the New England Patriots.
“No butterflies. I’ve been in a number of moments on the sphere,” the three-time league MVP stated.
“It’s extra pleasure than butterflies. You’re on the sphere. You’re prepping together with your teammates. All of us obtained to dig a bit deeper — 16 performs to start out the scrimmage. Guys had been getting hit, going out and in. There have been a number of good issues to study from what we had been doing.”
With preseason video games canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, there’s an opportunity the Bucs will maintain at the very least yet another scrimmage within the stadium earlier than the workforce’s scheduled season opener at New Orleans on Sept. 13.
“I really like the concept of working towards within the stadium. You get the proportions. You envision performs you make in observe occurring in a sport. … I bear in mind a number of observe touchdowns in finish zones within the stadium. We obtained to some extent the place the stadium wasn’t that massive a deal,” Brady stated. “It was form of like one other excellent place for us to go carry out.”
Coach Bruce Arians usually was happy with the scrimmage on a sizzling, humid day, noting Brady not solely had glorious command of the offense however did job of pushing exhausted teammates in the course of the lengthy TD drive to start observe.
“He was stable, every little thing I assumed he can be. Nothing new, nothing drastic,” Arians stated. “He was forcing his will a bit on some guys that had been drained. They want that.”
Brady summed up the day as “one other step within the course of” to prepare for the Saints.
“For me as a participant, it’s making ready myself one of the simplest ways I can. Attending to the stadium, getting with my teammates, it was costume rehearsal, so to talk,” Brady stated. “It has its challenges, and hopefully we are able to use these alternatives to develop and study from each other. I assumed right this moment was step for us.”
The Bucs proceed coaching camp with out interruption, whilst another groups stay in discussions about social injustice points and whether or not or to not observe whereas calling consideration to the capturing of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Brady was requested concerning the response all through sports activities.
“I feel everybody makes the alternatives that they really feel are finest for them, and I feel everyone could be very delicate of every little thing’s that’s occurring,” Brady stated.
“The communication that we’ve got each day about social injustice is necessary for all of us,” Brady added. “Simply making an attempt to proceed to hear and study, to actually the fellows on my workforce and guys that I join with, and do as a lot as we are able to to assist issues going ahead.”
The Bucs met as a workforce earlier than observe Thursday, deciding to decide to doing one thing as a bunch to advertise change reasonably than take a break day.
Arians inspired gamers to “discover a trigger and both assist it financially or do one thing to alter the state of affairs, as a result of protesting doesn’t do crap for my part.” The coach added he has been watching protests since he was a youngster in 1968.
NFL Gamers Affiliation govt director DeMaurice Smith later tweeted that Arians was “woefully misinformed concerning the historical past of protest each inside sports activities and in America.”
The 67-year-old Arians fired again Friday: “Yeah, I’ve a historical past, and it may be a bit longer than his.”