Tom Brady brings experience, winning to Buccaneers
Tom Brady is an old man. At least by NFL standards.
Turning 42 years old in August, Brady is going to be the only skill-position player in the league. If former teammate and kicker Adam Vinatieri retires, Brady will hold the mantle for any active player.
After 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, Brady is jumping ship — pun intended — to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. By winning percentage, no current NFL franchise has a worse winning percentage. Tampa Bay has only reached one Super Bowl while Brady has been to nine, winning six.
The Buccaneers’ only appearance was in the 2002 season, beating the Oakland Raiders. They haven’t won a postseason game since.
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This is precisely why Brady is so valuable. He may only play a few seasons in pewter, but he’ll almost certainly change the dynamic of the organization.
Offensive coordinator Byron Lefwtich talked about what Brady will bring to the club through his experience, and how he expects his relationship with the future first-ballot Hall of Famer will be as well, per NFL.com:
“We’re pretty close in age so we from the old school version of football. Me and him talk a lot about the old days when you did seven, eight, nine days of two-a-days, we’re from that era of football in this league. We can talk old school, things that happened in ’08, ’09, things that are still relevant in this league. The history that he understands, the history that I understand, the ability for us to be able to talk top-level football, high-level football.”
Brady and former Patriots teammate, tight end Rob Gronkowski come to Tampa Bay without the baggage of losing. In fact, neither has ever experienced a losing season as a starter. Gronkowski has never lived through one in any way as a professional, while Brady only dealt with it as a third-string rookie.
Whether the Buccaneers suddenly become champs with an aging Brady remains to be seen. Tampa Bay still has to best the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South, and then get past the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings in the NFC. It isn’t going to be simple.
Still, having Tom Brady provides hope for a franchise that has been in short supply for the better part of the current century.