Tom Brady's first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers couldn't have ended any better -- the quarterback won another Super Bowl less than a year after putting on a new uniform for the first time in his two-decade career. Brady had a historic season with Tampa Bay, but the year also included some struggles for the Hall of Fame quarterback.
For the first half of the season, Brady was trying to grasp the complex concept of head coach Bruce Arians' offense. Even the greatest quarterback ever had his struggles learning the intricacies of Arians' scheme.
"Midway through the year, I was still trying to figure out how to call the plays," Brady said regarding Arians' playbook on the Hodinkee Radio podcast, via JoeBucsFan.com. "I just read [the plays] off my wristband and tried to visualize what was going to happen.
"It's like learning a completely new language. You've spoken English for 20 years and someone goes, 'Hey man, let's speak some Spanish.' And you are like, 'Huh? That makes no sense to my brain.'"
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Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen admitted the offense wasn't in overdrive heading into the Super Bowl, explaining they were a month away from hitting their peak. Judging from Brady's first season in Tampa Bay, it's scary to think he can be even better. Brady completed 65.2% of his passes for 2,444 yards with 20 touchdowns to eight interceptions (101.2 rating) in the second half of the season.
But his first half numbers were actually better. Brady completed 66.2% of his passes for 2,189 yards with 20 touchdowns to four interceptions (103.1 rating). If Brady was struggling to learn the playbook, the stats certainly didn't show that was the case.
Tampa Bay hit its stride at the end of the year, not losing a single game after their bye (Week 13). Brady saw his team developing the chemistry he wanted to form in minicamp -- in a normal offseason.
"We kind of came together. Naturally, we couldn't come together in the same way," Brady said. "You couldn't start that way in training camp because we were all socially distanced. We couldn't meet together. We had to all sit outside. You couldn't have friends over. You couldn't do anything after the game.
"So it took a long time for people to get to know one another. Much longer than normal. The last six weeks of the year, wow, we really started hitting our stride. We gained a lot of confidence in one another. It was a really unique experience, one that I hope I never, ever have to go through again, but I think we made the best of it."