There's naturally a ton of excitement and optimism in Tampa Bay after Tom Brady elected to sign with the Buccaneers at the start of free agency, ending his 20-year-long tenure with the New England Patriots. The thought of him throwing to receivers like Chris Godwin and Mike Evans along with tight end Rob Gronkowski coming out of retirement to join him was once thought to be exclusive to Madden or your fantasy football roster. Now, it's a reality. While the Bucs certainly seem to be on the horizon of a promising 2020 season, one of Brady's former rivals does caution that things may be a bit bumpy to start.
On Monday, former Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who squared off against and defeated Brady in two Super Bowls, explained to SiriusXM NFL Radio that learning a new offensive system during an offseason that is currently being derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic makes things rather challenging for the likes of Brady.
"I think it's gonna be tough for him, just the fact he can't be doing everything he wants to be doing with the team and getting ready,'' Manning said, as transcribed by the New York Post. "Obviously they have some playmakers at receiver there, when you got talented receivers it makes it a little bit easier to get on the same page with 'em. It will be interesting how it all plays out and how quickly he can just adjust to a new organization and new players and new offense, all those new things, especially with the limited timing he's gonna have being with them.''
Manning does have a point and this is one of the more under-the-radar aspects of Brady heading down to Tampa Bay. For two decades, Brady has enjoyed being in a system in New England that has been perfectly and carefully crafted to his exact skill set. The terminology, specific packages, and chemistry with pass-catchers and coaches have been a process that taken years to master. In Tampa, things are tweaked a bit and will ever be an exact replica of how Brady operated in New England.
Because of the pandemic, the 42-year-old quarterback may not be able to go through those growing pains with his new club over the course of the summer and, instead, may be doing it on the fly during an actual game to start the year.
The good news for the Buccaneers, in that respect, is that they were able to acquire Gronkowski, who comes to Florida already built-in with tremendous chemistry with Brady that has been constructed during their years with the Patriots. That acquisition could prove to be vital as Brady gets his feet wet and works out the kinks to his new offense.