Tom Brady is “way ahead of the curve” in getting to grips with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offense, according to head coach Bruce Arians.
The veteran quarterback is in the peculiar position of learning a new playbook and adapting to fresh surroundings, all during a global health pandemic.
Still, Arians revealed Brady has wasted little time in becoming accustomed to the team’s system ahead of the 2020 NFL season.
“I think he’s way ahead of the curve. I mean he’s really a bright guy and terminology was the big thing,” Arians told reporters via Zoom.
“As we now get together, we’ll start to collaborate a little bit more. So yeah, I think he’s in a great spot as far as that goes.”
Brady, 42, is embarking on a new challenge after 20 golden years with the New England Patriots which included winning six Super Bowls.
In teaming up with Arians in Tampa Bay, Brady is playing for a coach whose “no risk it, no biscuit” aggressive offense is at odds with Bill Belichick’s more calculating style at the Pats.
Arians concedes there is work to be done, but insists it is not a case of ripping up plans and starting again simply to accommodate Brady.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) July 28, 2020
“I think that’s the big thing. Again, it’s a dual thing, him learning what we do and me learning what he likes,” Arians added.
“We’ll meet in the middle and also do lots of different things. But I’m not going to ask the other 21 players to learn something new when they’ve already had a good year and good experiences in the offense.
“I would have liked to add a couple of pre-season games, but it didn’t work out that way.”
Arians believes the addition of Brady will see confidence filter throughout the team.
“When he walks into a huddle, it’s different. This guy has got six rings. He knows what he’s doing,” Arians said.
“There’s going to be a ton of confidence in him, not only on offense. Our defense is going to feel the same way.”
Arians is a cancer survivor – he once quit coaching on health grounds – and is considered among the vulnerable category in the United States due to the threat of coronavirus.
But the 67-year-old is happy with the measures put in place by the NFL during these unprecedented times.
“There was never a doubt I was going to coach, especially once I’d seen the protocols in place,” he added.
“Whether it was Tom or whoever the quarterback would be, I’m going to get excited.
“I really like our club and hope – knock on wood – we can stay healthy and do the things we want to do. Having Tom adds to the excitement, obviously, but I would have been all in either way.”