Tom Brady may have won a Super Bowl title in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but even the greatest quarterback in NFL history had to overcome several obstacles to make that happen. As it turns out, the former New England Patriots star dealt with a troublesome knee during another campaign that ended with Brady hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
During a recent podcast appearance, the 43-year-old quarterback revealed more details about his mysterious injury while also touching upon a hurdle he had to clear in his first year away from Foxborough.
Tom Brady didn’t show his age one bit during the 2020 NFL season
Apparently, a lack of weapons really did play a significant role in Brady’s decline in numbers in his final two seasons with the Patriots. Because once he joined the Buccaneers, he quickly reminded everyone why he is considered the greatest quarterback to ever step foot on an NFL field.
Refreshed, rejuvenated, and motivated to prove Bill Belichick wrong for not investing in his future, Brady put together an MVP-caliber season that included 4,633 passing yards, 40 touchdowns, and a quarterback rating of 102.2. He benefitted tremendously from having more talented pass-catchers, and he also got solid protection from an offensive line that added Tristan Wirfs in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft.
The fact Brady led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title at age 43 made his first season with the franchise even more impressive. Despite routinely being the oldest player on the field, he didn’t miss a single game. However, although he only got sacked 21 times and was never listed on Tampa’s injury report with a knee issue, he admittedly faced an uphill battle to make it through the year.
Brady opens up about his mysterious knee injury and an obstacle he overcame in his first year with the Buccaneers
With Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season only a few months away, Brady doesn’t have a ton of time to get back to full strength. During a podcast appearance on Hondinkee Radio, the seven-time champion revealed some key details about a knee injury that oddly never got mentioned during the regular season.
“I had a pretty serious knee surgery this offseason, which is the first surgery I’ve had in about 12 years,” Brady said. “I was really interested to see how it was going to go, because last year it just took a lot. Every week I was kind of tending to my knee, and I thought I would love to see a season where I can focus on some other strength stuff that I want to do, some other technique stuff where I’m not just focused on protecting my knee all the time.”
The reigning Super Bowl MVP has been forced to spend six and a half weeks of the offseason dealing with the rehab process. Then again, dealing with a challenge is nothing new for Brady. Due in part to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, he admitted he struggled to learn the Buccaneers’ playbook.
“I barely knew the plays, and midway through the year, I was still trying to figure out how to call plays,” Brady said. “I would just read them off my wristband and try to visualize how they happen.”
Can TB12 fend off Father Time and win back-to-back Super Bowl titles?
Brady compared learning a new offense to learning a new language. Clearly, though, he didn’t need to completely master Bruce Arians’ system to make magic happen. On one hand, that makes the Buccaneers an even bigger threat this season. If Brady grows more comfortable calling plays and making audibles, Tampa can be even more explosive on that side of the ball.
At the same time, however, it’s impossible to ignore the elephant in the room: Brady’s age. He turns 44 in August, and considering he underwent “pretty serious knee surgery” a few months ago, it remains to be seen whether he can continue to defy Father Time.
Can the Buccaneers protect the aging star and keep him out of harm’s way? Or will Brady’s body break down as he attempts to extend his career past 45? If Arians wants to taste championship glory again, he better think long and hard about doing everything possible to preserve his quarterback for the postseason. Otherwise, the city of Tampa could be in for a big letdown in 2021.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.