It's pretty safe to say that no team in the NFL had a bigger offseason than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Not only did they sign Tom Brady away from New England, but they also added Rob Gronkowski after pulling off a shocking trade with the Patriots in April.
During a normal offseason, Brady and Gronk would have spent the past two months at Tampa Bay's practice facility getting acquainted with their new offense and their new teammates. However, this isn't a normal offseason. Due to the pandemic, the Buccaneers haven't been able to practice in person since Brady's signing. Of course, Brady hasn't let that stop him from learning the team's offense.
The 42-year-old quarterback has organized several private workouts this offseason, and apparently, his new teammates have been pretty impressed with how he's running things. During a recent interview on CBS Sports Radio's "The Zach Gelb Show," Buccaneers running back Dare Ogunbowale revealed a few details of how those workouts are going.
For one, these aren't normal workouts. According to Ogunbowale, Brady has been treating these private practices like games, which has allowed the quarterback to build chemistry with his new teammates.
"Instead of just telling us to run a dig [route] or something like that, he's telling us the full play call," Ogunbowale said. "He's doing his cadence as if we were in a game. He's doing adjustments, doing the hots and sights. With a guy like him, it's really easy to kind of be building chemistry and kind of emulating that whole practice environment."
The Buccaneers have continued to hold these workouts despite the NFLPA's recommendation that players stop practicing together due to the pandemic. Brady and his teammates have held at least two workouts since the advisory came out over the weekend, with the latest practice session coming on Thursday morning.
#Brady Watch: You wanted him. We got him. #Bucs Pro Bowl WR Mike Evans has joined the Brady Bunch this morning at Berkeley Prep. Evans in gray tank with his red shoes. No one is stopping these workouts. @TomBrady @MikeEvans13_ @Buccaneers @rojo @DGO23_ @RobGronkowski @sinjen66 pic.twitter.com/gaoxjQ1jhe— Kevin ODonnell Fox13 (@ODonnellFox13) June 25, 2020
Brady organized the team's first private workout back in May, and according to Ogunbowale, that initial session was mainly a get-to-know-you period.
"Kind of getting acclimated with each other, finding how each other likes things," Ogunbowale said. "It was good. It was a good group of guys, receivers, tight ends, a couple backs and we've been going and getting a good work in. It was a lot of routes, a lot of running and a lot of learning."
Since that first workout session, Brady and his new teammates have been on the field multiple times. Besides Brady, one player Ogunbowale has been impressed with is Gronkowski.
"I'm just going to say he looks good," Ogunbowale said of Gronk. "He looks real good. He looks fast, he looks explosive. I'm excited to see him play once we get pads on."
After taking a season off following his retirement in March 2019, it appears that Gronk might now be back to full strength. During the interview, Ogunbowale still seemed somewhat surprised that Gronk was now his teammate. The Buccaneers running back heard the news about Brady from some of his friends, and he wasn't so surprised by that, but when the same friend told him about the Gronk trade, he was in shock.
"The Gronk thing, I did not believe the Gronk one," Ogunbowale said of which moves surprised him more. "I thought they were messing with me on that one, but when they said we got Brady, I believed them."
The fact of the matter is that Gronk and Brady are now both in Tampa, and because of that, the Buccaneers are now one of the favorites to win the NFC. If Brady can lead the Bucs to the playoffs, it will mark the first time since 2007 that Tampa Bay has earned a postseason berth.