As training camps around the NFL ready to kick things up a notch, Bruce Arians is more than ready to finally get a look at Tom Brady -- the Tampa Bay Buccaneers having acquired the six-time Super Bowl winning quarterback to jump off their offseason. It ushers in a new era in Central Florida, and one that also coincided with moving on from longtime quarterback and former first-round pick Jameis Winston, with all eyes on Tampa to see what its wholly revamped offense can do in 2020. And while Brady himself is no spring chicken at the ripe age of 43, Arians isn't worried about where he'll be physically when live practices begin.
After all, Brady drew a lot of criticism from outside of Tampa, waving off the critics with a proclamation of "no excuses," and instead doing his best to build an early chemistry with his Bucs offense.
"Yeah, he's probably the least of my worries right now," Arians said, via ESPN. "He's where he needs to be."
There are other areas of the offense Arians is concerned about, though.
"We need to get more live reps -- blocking, tackling," he said, his concerns mostly stemming from what will be a training camp with limited live practices. "This game's a blocking and tackling game. Fourteen days to block and tackle. Is that enough? And I hate tackling ourselves.
"We don't want to road-block ourselves, but we've got to get ready to play a game. I think that's the biggest disadvantage -- not being in pads and not playing fast."
Padded practices around the league can begin Monday, Aug. 17, and that's when Arians will get to see Brady orchestrate the offense in real time for the first time since the team signed him earlier this year, having been without minicamp due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Arians doesn't expect any unpleasant surprises from the 14-time Pro Bowler, but isn't naive to how quickly he and the others will have to ramp up for the regular season.
"Just playing fast," Arians said. "[Brady] knows what he's doing. But now the speed is going to pick up for the first time for him. Seeing how he processes the information that he thinks he knows and we'll find out what he does know and doesn't know at a much higher pace, and we haven't gone against our defense and we're very complicated defensively, so it'll be a lot of fun for him."
And for those wondering if Brady gets special treatment in Tampa Bay? Not on Arians' watch.
"He gets cussed out like everybody else," said the Bucs coach. "He did a little bit [on Thursday] because he likes to throw the ball in walk-throughs, and we don't throw the ball in walk-throughs, but not very bad."
What has been very bad, however, is the Bucs record over the last decade, having delivered only two winning seasons in the last 10 years with no playoff appearances. Things appear to be in good hands as Arians enters Year 2 with the organization, and the quicker Brady can acclimate, the faster and more likely the turnaround in culture will be. But as important as Brady is to everything going forward, again, he'll get no sprinkles and ice cream in between reps, says Arians.
"He's just another guy."