TAMPA, Fla. — There’s no room for complacency in Tom Brady’s world.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hoping to become the first team to repeat as Super Bowl champions since Brady’s 2003 and 2004 New England Patriots, and the 43-year-old quarterback doesn’t want teammates taking anything for granted.
Although the Bucs will return all 22 starters after prioritizing keeping an ultra-talented roster together this offseason, Brady understands it’ll take more than having familiar faces around him to win another Lombardi Trophy.
The seven-time Super Bowl winner said Wednesday that players have to resist any temptation to hold on to last year and assume “just because you did something in February that you’ll do it again next February because that’s not the reality of football.”
“I feel like we’re not finished products. It was really our first opportunity to play together last year and there’s a lot of opportunity for us to grow into something that could be very different,” Brady added. “We’ve got to improve the things that we did well and we’ve got to certainly build on a lot of things that we didn’t do very well.”
The team will wrap up a three-day mandatory minicamp Thursday.
Coach Bruce Arians said he hasn’t detected any signs of complacency.
“That’s the first thing I was looking for, and I didn’t see any. Our guys know how to work, so I really don’t have to say anything,” Arians said.
“If it’s on offense, you’re probably going to get chewed out by Brady,” the coach added. “If you’re on defense, Lavonte [David] is probably chewing you out.”
Nevertheless, Brady credits Arians with setting the tone for continued growth by stressing last year’s team won the Super Bowl but this year’s squad hasn’t done anything.
“I think he’s really got the sense of urgency, too,” Brady said, noting Arians also won multiple titles as an assistant coach and knows what defending champions go through.
“And I think if there’s one thing we all know about him is he shoots us straight all the time. He doesn’t sugarcoat a lot,” the quarterback added. “What he thinks is what he says. That’s all you can ask for as a player. I think we all respect that.”
Brady also briefly discussed his surgically repaired left knee, saying the procedure performed 15 weeks ago went well. He began throwing three weeks ago and has participated in individual and team drills during minicamp.
“Every player deals with different things. I never like to talk about injuries. I’m a little bit old school in that way,” said Brady, who did not provide any details about the injury, which he said had been bothering him since last offseason.
“I knew I would have to do something at the end of the year … and there was a great outcome,” Brady said. “I’m very happy about that. I feel I will be able to do some different things than I was able to do last year.”
Fred Goodall, The Associated Press