The future of the upcoming NFL season is anything but certain, but Tom Brady is already acclimating himself to his new Tampa Bay teammates, including some of his offensive weapons. On Tuesday morning, Brady held an informal two-hour workout with some of his fellow Buccaneers.
Because NFL teams have not yet been allowed to open team facilities, the session took place at Tampa’s Berkeley Prep School.
According to reports, Brady was joined by receivers Mike Evans and Scotty Miller, tight ends O.J. Howard and Cam Brate, quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin, running back Dare Ogunbowale, and center Ryan Jensen.
Some fans and experts had questions regarding the appropriateness of the workout amid the coronavirus pandemic. With most NFL teams relegated to holding virtual meetings, the NFL has said Brady can conduct these workouts as long as he and his teammates follow local, state, and NFLPA guidelines.
Florida’s social distancing rules allow for groups of under 10 people to congregate in one place.
Brady may soon be able to move into Tampa Bay’s team facility, however. Players and coaches are currently unable to access team facilities, but league rules are now permitting essential personnel and players undergoing rehab or receiving other treatment to enter those buildings.
So, the six-time Super Bowl champ may soon be conducting workouts on team grounds.
Can Brady Take Bucs From 7-9 to Super Bowl?
With Jameis Winston under center, the 2019 Buccaneers earned a record of 7-9 and finished third in the NFC South behind New Orleans and Atlanta. While Winston managed to throw for more than 5,000 yards and 33 touchdowns, he also threw a league-high 30 interceptions.
The replacement of Winston with Brady is now expected to give Tampa Bay the boost it needs to reach the postseason, but will it be enough to make this team a contender?
While Brady may help this offensive unit improve by the numbers, it won’t be able to do much better than 28.6 points per game (fourth) and 397 yards per game (third). So, the Bucs are counting on Brady to better protect the football — something almost sure to happen with Brady coming off an eight-interception season.
If Tampa Bay’s offensive unit can be more consistent and, more importantly, not put the defense in bad positions over and over, this team could be scary. The Bucs allowed 28.1 points per game (29th) last year but had the league’s top run defense by allowing 73.8 yards per game on the ground.
With an arsenal of weapons that includes Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski, Brady should have everything he needs to score points, protect the football, and move the chains to consistently earn his defense better field position.
Brady’s Bucs an NFC Favorite
With an over/under set at 9.5 games at FanDuel Sportsbook, the Bucs are expected to find their way to a postseason berth. The first question that comes to mind is whether or not they’ll do so as NFC South champs.
For now, Tampa Bay sits behind New Orleans as frontrunners to win the division. While the Saints hold odds of -110, the Bucs are sitting on odds of +160. Both the Falcons (+700) and Panthers (+1400) trail well behind.
Yet Tampa Bay’s expected struggle to win the division doesn’t keep them from being a top contender for the conference title. Both the Saints and Bucs are seen as the biggest threats to San Francisco in the NFC.
The 49ers remain the favorite with odds of +460, but Drew Brees’ Saints (+650) and Brady’s Bucs (+700) lead all other teams in the conference. The Cowboys (+850) round out the list of teams with odds better than +1000.
To win the Super Bowl, the Bucs hold the fifth-best odds of +1500. Tampa Bay trails New Orleans (+1200), San Francisco (+900), Baltimore (+700), and Kansas City (+650).