NFL

For Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, Fast Starts Aren’t Enough

When Tom Brady joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason, people had already had the Bucs booked for the Super Bowl. Brady, a six-time Super Bowl champion, was joining a team that was loaded with weapons and was continuing to add more. The Bucs are 2-1, but they haven’t been a dominant 2-1. Brady knows there is still a lot of work to be done for the Buccaneers to get where they want to be.

Tom Brady adjusting to football life in Tampa

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Tom Brady was pretty comfortable with the New England Patriots after spending 20 seasons with the team. He won six Super Bowls as the quarterback and has cemented his legacy as one of the best to ever play in the NFL. Brady and the Patriots couldn’t agree on a contract extension prior to the 2020 season, so he became a free agent and signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brady joined a team that already possessed two of the game’s top wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The team then traded for Brady’s longtime teammate, tight end Rob Gronkowski. Shortly thereafter, the Bucs signed running back Leonard Fournette, who was a surprise cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The team is clearly in win-now mode. The Buccaneers lost their opener to the New Orleans Saints, but have since won their next two games. Their two victories, however, have come against the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, teams with a combined 2-5 mark. Tampa’s wins haven’t been pretty, but Brady & Co. are still adjusting.

Brady and the Bucs still have a long way to go

They’ll take 2-1, but they aren’t satisfied with how they’ve played. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven’t played well and they know it. They played their best game of the season in last week’s 28-10 victory on the road against the Denver Broncos. It still wasn’t satisfying.

“There’s still a lot to learn, a lot to grow, a lot of room for improvement. I know everyone feels that way,” Brady said after his three-touchdown performance. “By no means was this nearly close to what we’re capable of.” Brady finally got his old friend Rob Gronkowski into the mix. Gronkowski led the team with six catches.

“It just felt good to be out there making a couple of plays, get involved in the passing game,” Gronkowski said, according to ESPN. “There’s been people talking garbage about him since I started playing with him like 10 years ago, saying he didn’t have anything left in the tank. That’s simply not true.”

Fast starts are not enough for the Bucs

In Tom Brady’s first game as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa struck first against the New Orleans Saints. In fact, it was Brady who accounted for the game’s first score with a rushing touchdown. The Saints, however, came back to win as Brady and the offense sputtered.

In all three games this season, the Buccaneers have gotten off to quick starts. Brady said those quick starts just aren’t enough. “Yeah, we got off to a good start in all the games,” Brady told reporters, according to Buccaneers.com. “We gotta figure out how to keep that consistency over the course of 60 minutes.

“It’s one thing to get off to a good start. You want to play well at the end of every half, too. You want to start the third quarter fast. Really, you want to play a great 60 minutes every week. It’s a pretty small sample size, still. We absolutely want to get off to a fast start every game. You want to play from ahead. You want to play on your terms. We’re certainly going to have to, as the year goes on, gain consistency, dependability over the course of the whole game. That’s gonna be the goal.”