The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the Super Bowl, despite no training camp and very few ways to gain chemistry with all the roster’s new faces. Tom Brady was the biggest face to join the team, bringing his championship experience. It has paid off, as the Bucs’ are a win away from becoming Super Bowl champions.
When Brady gives advice, players usually listen because of his track record of success. Take Buccaneers’ center Ryan Jensen as a perfect example of taking Brady’s advice. Because of Brady, Jensen doesn’t sweat from his butt as much but has more scars on his hands.
Tom Brady to Ryan Jensen: “No more ass sweat”
One of the first things Brady did when he joined the Buccaneers was getting in touch with Jensen. The veteran center releases a lot of sweat from his backside and butt, which can get the football drenched in sweat. It’s been something both Arians, and Brady noticed and wanted to remedy.
“He started talking about the sweat and what he’s had centers do in the past. I knew it was coming,” said Jensen per the Tampa Bay Times.
When Brady started working with Jensen, he gave him the perfect method to stop the butt sweat. He told Jensen to grab a towel, douse it in baby powder, and put it down his backside. That has been a trick Brady has used throughout his entire career to keep his hands dry. Jensen is just the next of Brady’s centers to be initiated into the routine.
“That’s keeping his hands dry and keeping the ball dry,” Jensen said, per Fox News. “At that point, he’s done this for such a long time and had so much success, I mean, you’ve kind of got to listen to him…You going to backtalk him? I just don’t think that’s how that works,” Jensen said.
Although it did take some adjusting, Jensen is used to Brady’s new towel practice. He understands that Brady has been doing this a long time and knows what it takes to win. The new towel rule hasn’t impacted Jensen’s play, only allowing four sacks the entire season.
“Now it’s just a couple extra things during practice I got to do, change out the towel, add a little bit more powder. It’s really not a burden at all for me,” said Jensen.
Tom Brady also suggested that Ryan Jensen not wear gloves
Preventing the sweat from Jensen’s rear with the baby powder towel wasn’t the only thing Brady suggest he change about his game. This time it was the center’s apparel. Throughout Jensen’s career, he’d wear gloves during games. Brady thought otherwise, advising his center to snap without a glove.
“I mean, when Tom Brady tells you to do something, you usually do it. It was a little bit of an adjustment at first, especially not wearing a glove. I used to always wear a glove, and you start getting your hands pretty torn up not wearing a glove as an offensive lineman,” Jensen said.
After some time, the adjustment actually helped out Jensen. “With all the humidity and stuff here, not having a glove actually helped me control the ball a little bit more snapping,” he said.
The removal of the gloves and the butt sweat has seemed to pay off for Tampa Bay, Brady, and Jensen. The team is one win away from a Super Bowl, and Tom Brady has been the difference-maker for the team with his play and championship acumen. However, the Bucs’ O-line are the unsung heroes of 2020.
Tampa Bay’s O-line are the unsung heroes of 2020
When Tom Brady went to the Buccaneers, one of the places people looked at first was the offensive line. They were a decent bunch, but things had to be much better with Brady coming to town.
The Bucs’ prioritized protecting Brady, drafting Tristan Wirfs in the first round. Tampa’s O-line doesn’t get the credit they deserve. They were one of the better units in the trenches in 2020.
After some early-season hiccups, Tampa’s offensive line became a brick wall. During the 2020 regular season, Brady was pressured on 24% of his dropbacks. That rate was the fourth-lowest in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.
That is especially impressive because of how long it takes plays to develop in Bruce Arians’ “no risk it, no biscuit offense.” Ryan Jensen held down the inside, playing with grit and a nasty streak that got under the opposing players’ skin.
Jensen wasn’t the only one playing above expectations. Wirfs also dominated during his rookie season, protecting Brady. His 82.2 Pro Football Focus grade is the second-highest amongst right tackles. Ali Marpet was exceptional at right guard also. Wirfs and Marpet’s skill and age make them the foundation for Tampa’s O-line in the future. They are Brady’s guardian angels in the present, though.
If it wasn’t for Tampa’s excellence at O-line, who knows where the Bucs would’ve ended up. The finished 2020 as the fifth-best offensive line, according to PFF. The Tampa O-line will need to step up against Chris Jones and the Chiefs’ defensive line. Tom Brady better make sure that towel has extra baby powder for Super Bowl Sunday.