The first meeting of the “Tompa” Bay Buccaneers took place Tuesday, when Tom Brady gathered several of his new teammates for a practice session at Tampa’s Berkeley Preparatory School field.
The Tampa Bay Times published photos of the throwing session, which reportedly went for two hours and included center Ryan Jensen, wide receivers Mike Evans and Scotty Miller, tight ends Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard, running back Dare Ogunbowale, and quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin.
Under the NFL’s rules governing its virtual offseason, players can gather and work out together as long as they abide by state and local rules and guidelines. Florida’s rules allow for groups of fewer than 10 people to congregate, so Brady’s bunch is OK. Berkeley Prep is currently closed, but the school is allowing athletes to use its fields.
With NFL facilities not open to players beyond those rehabbing injuries, the meet-up allowed Brady to throw with some of his new Buccaneers receivers and practice with other teammates. That could be very meaningful work in this offseason of unique adjustments.
Brady skipped the last two years’ worth of Patriots OTAs to spend more time with his family, but that was after nearly two decades of playing for the same team. Now that he’s a Buc, this introductory time is valuable.
He’s been known to invite receivers and other teammates to his home in Montana during the offseason for throwing sessions, too.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Brady’s first request after signing with the Buccaneers in March was for the phone numbers of his teammates, which he may have used to set up the workout.
The quarterback has obviously prioritized getting used to the Buccaneers offense as soon as possible, even under current conditions. Soon after he arrived in Tampa, where he’s currently renting a home owned by Derek Jeter, Brady showed up at offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich’s house to get the playbook — even though he accidentally walked into the wrong house on the first try.
The photos of Brady in a Buccaneers helmet and other gear may represent this offseason of change, but he was still carrying that familiar giant water bottle.
This, too, may sound familiar: The Tampa Bay Times reported that Brady was organizing the route combinations and situational drills players ran through, with Jensen delivering shotgun snaps. He would occasionally stop and walk through a route with a receiver, showing him exactly where to make his cuts to Brady’s liking.