Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians says Tom Brady is already having a positive impact on the squad, as he looks for the six-time Super Bowl winner to lead his team to championship glory.
The Bucs organisation has been in need of a major shake-up for years, ever since they won Super Bowl 36 back in 2002, making the play-offs twice since that triumph and failing to post a winning season in the last three attempts.
This off-season, Tampa Bay’s prayers were finally answered as they pushed all their chips into the middle of the table, firstly by signing arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time in Brady, followed by his favourite offensive weapon in tight-end Rob Gronkowski.
The arrival of the former Patriots duo immediately catapulted the Buccaneers from also-rans to Super Bowl contenders, being priced at
14/1* to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy come next February.
Brady & Gronk: Proven Winners
Few can argue that Brady and Gronkowski know how to win, it is all they did when together in New England, combining for a historic nine Super Bowl titles before riding out of town.
They have been welcomed to Tampa with open arms by Arians, a man who has a couple of Super Bowl rings to his name himself, as they try to instil a winning mentality at a franchise that has been in the weeds for nearly two decades.
Although team facilities have not officially been cleared to open due to the coronavirus pandemic, Brady has had a few opportunities to work with his new team mates, putting together some throwing sessions at a school in May.
Arians on the G.O.A.T.
His time with his new team mates might only have been minimal, but already Arians says he can see a difference in his offense and expects that upward trend to continue.
“We got a great locker room, but to now get a guy that’s been there, done it, six times, (he’s) the G.O.A.T,?” Arians told Joe Maddon’s YouTube show. “When he talks, they listen. It’s so different than a coach. With Tom, it’s been fantastic.”
Having worked with the likes of Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger in the past, Arians says he can see plenty of the leadership qualities those two quarterbacks possess, claiming he expects the new addition to command the locker room.
Has Brady Still Got What it Takes?
While Brady’s winning mentality and leadership qualities are beyond reproach, the Bucs have taken a big risk putting their eggs into the basket of a player who has to prove his best days are not behind him.
The Patriots offense was ugly last year and although Brady had very few dependable receiving options, across the board the stats suggest a decline with his pass completion rate putting him between Gardner Minshew and Baker Mayfield.
In Florida, Brady has no shortage of targets with an abundance of weapons which, at times, made even previous quarterback Jamies Winston look good. Watching Brady throw to Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and his old pal Gronkowski will no doubt be box office, but will it be championship quality quarterback play?
With a deep offence and a much-improved defence, the only thing that let this team down last year was bad quarterback play and the arrival of Brady should address that problem, even if he isn’t as good as he once was.
Tampa Bay are due to open their pre-season with a visit from the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 15th.
*Odds quoted were correct at time of writing