Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians is 100 percent sure that six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady can still hit his receivers down the field with accurate deep passes. The Buccaneers held their first padded training camp practice on Monday and on the first play, 43-year-old Brady threw a deep pass down the field to wide receiver Scotty Miller, who caught the ball for a 50+ yard play.
"I think he answered that question the first day. I think he was dropping 60-yard dimes. Our job is to make sure he maintains that strength and not overwork it because he's an over-worker," Arians said, when asked about Brady's arm strength at the age of 43.
Brady, who spent his first 20 NFL seasons with the New England Patriots, is in the process of learning a new playbook and offense. "Everything I expected. He's still learning some guys. He was a little bit hesitant on a throw with a young receiver today -- they got their hands on it.
He's throwing to the right guy all the time," Arians said. "The 7-on-7 is what it's supposed to look like -- completion after completion. In the blitz drills, he's seeing how we call it, how we protect it.
He's doing a real good job with his hots and sights. He's right where he needs to be. I'm not worried about him."
Teammates impressed by Brady
"You're not lying," outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul said when asked about Brady's quick release.
"The ball comes out very quick, very fast." Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard says Brady doesn't even give defenders a chance to make a play. "He does a really good job of putting the ball in a spot where you have the opportunity to make plays and run after the catch.
It allows the defender not to make a play on it," Howard said. Rob Gronkowski, a three-time Super Bowl champion with the Patriots, retired after the 2018 season but came out of retirement this offseason to join Brady in Tampa Bay.
"He's probably in 'New England shape' right now. He's not 'Florida shape.' The heat's kicking his ass pretty good. It's different, man. When you train in New England and then come down here, it's really different.
We laughed about it out there today -- I don't think he's ever sweat that much in his life. It takes a little time to get into the Florida shape, but as far as playing in a game, he's more than ready right now," Arians said of Gronkowski.