Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is entering his 23rd NFL season. The seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback briefly retired this offseason only to return 44 days later. While Brady didn’t miss any of the offseason OTA’s or minicamps, the former Michigan Wolverines gunslinger did miss 11-days of training camp for what is being called “personal” reasons.
With no explanation from the team as to where Brady was, of course, the pundits made up their own stories about what was going on while Brady was out. Rumors of marital issues, to him being on another vacation, to Brady even making an appearance on NBC’s hit show the “Masked Singer.”
Upon return this past week, Brady kept quiet until a Saturday press conference when the legendary signal-caller explained some things on his terms.
“Everyone has different situations they’re dealing with, and we all have unique challenges to our lives. I’m 45 years old, man. There’s a lot of s**t going on, so you have to try and figure out life the best you can. You know, it’s a contentious process.”
First look at Tom Brady practicing today. You can feel a difference when he’s out there. There’s a noticeable mood shift with everybody when he takes the field. pic.twitter.com/AbVOp2E5be
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) August 22, 2022
Brady with a pretty vague, it’s-none-of-your-business type response as to where he may have been during his hiatus. Which is honestly the way it should be. As long as his coaches and teammates are comfortable with it that’s all that matters.
Team Knew Since July That Brady Was Going To Be Out
First-year Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles was coy about his star quarterback’s absence, but he was also prepared for it. In fact, Bowles told reporters numerous times that Brady’s absence wasn’t a surprise to him or the team. It had been talked about since July, and that’s why Brady took most of the reps the first two weeks of camp.
“We allotted this time because he wanted to get in and get chemistry with the guys and go through two weeks of training camp, knowing he wasn’t going to play the first two games,” Bowles told reporters.
“He didn’t want to take reps away from Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask as well as Griff [Ryan Griffin] as far as going into these next two games. And it’s something he needs to handle.”
Wasn’t on the masked singer last week. Was wearing a mask though. https://t.co/E3wg9LaC1I
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) August 22, 2022
Per Pro Football Talk, Brady and family went to an exclusive resort in the Bahamas. The site also mentioned how Brady values family time more now.
“His commitment to family and having a personal life was at the heart of this hiatus from football, and there was no medical emergency, as speculated, or other reasons.”
Buccaneers Need Brady: Super Bowl Hopes
Prior to Brady’s arrival in 2020, the Buccaneers were a floundering below average franchise, that hadn’t been to the postseason since 2007. In his first year in Tampa, the Buccaneers became the first to host and win the Super Sunday penultimate classic in its home stadium. The Rams followed the feat last season doing the same thing.
These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG pic.twitter.com/U0yhRKVKVm
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) March 13, 2022
But just how important is Brady to the success of the Buccaneers? Very important, in fact the offense was changed to fit what Tom does best, the dink-and-dunk. Since his arrival in Tampa no quarterback has completed more passes over 20-plus yards in the NFL.
He even convinced the team to sign Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown whom they won it all with. Now he’s even gotten them to add former Atlanta Falcons stalwart pass catcher Julio Jones, a sign that Brady is still making a lot of the decisions on the offensive side of the football.
Now it remains to be seen if Brady can muster up another Lombardi Trophy before he departs into the sunset, whenever that may be.