When Tom Brady joined in Free Agency, the Buccaneers signed the GOAT. Possibly the greatest player to line up behind center.
Because this is Tampa Bay, and it’s a Bucs life, Brady has only flashed and teased the awesome potential of the powerful offense ever seen in a Buccaneers uniform. It’s been frustrating for everyone, from the fans, the coaches, to Tom Brady himself. But why?
Brady has shown on several occasions this season that he’s not being slowed by age; his arm is just as strong and as accurate. Other times, however, the former Patriot has been a shadow of his former self. It certainly isn’t a lack of talent around number 12 either. Brady has historically taken mediocre players and made them look like all-pros (Chris Hogan, I’m looking at you). In fact, Brady is surrounded by more talent than he’s ever had. Games should be a walkover. Right?
The problem is becoming clear, the one thing that Brady has in New England but doesn’t have in Tampa, consistency!
Head Coach Bruce Arians spoke to the media and offered this possibility during the press conference. Arians shared his belief that Brady may have a lack of trust due to the lack of consistency in the lineup on offense.
Tom Brady has a long history, and one thing that has been established is that he thrives on consistency, knowing where his blockers are, what their strengths and weaknesses are. This allows Brady the confidence that he knows what his pocket will look like then. Then he needs chemistry with his receivers to trust they will be in the right spot to receive the ball.
Football is a mental game as much as it is physical. On average, an NFL quarterback has less than 3 seconds from taking the snap to the ball being released. Much of a successful passing play depends on the trust that the WR will be where the QB throws the ball so that the play happens as quickly and smoothly as possible.
When that trust isn’t there, it takes that fraction of time longer to make the play, and that tiny fraction of time can be the difference between success and failure.