TAMPA — Tom Brady will make the Bucs better at quarterback, but it’s how he will improve the players around him that will be hard to quantify, Saints coach Sean Payton said Wednesday.
“Starting with the addition of Tom, there’s more than just the addition of a Hall-of-Fame quarterback,” Payton said of Brady. "There’s a lot of elements that go with that and (adding) someone like that to your roster. I think those great players elevate the play of everyone around them.
''When you add pieces like a Tom Brady or Gronk (Rob Gronkowski), you know those guys are significant players that can certainly change a game. You know, Leonard Fournette, LeSean McCoy, those guys are used to playing at a high level. And I think overall, the expectation rises when you have that right type of leadership."
In addition to the improvement the Bucs have made on their roster, Payton says the Saints will have to engage in a bit of a guessing game.
“One of the challenges this week defensively is looking at Tampa’s offense under Bruce (Arians) and Byron (Leftwich) the last two years and also trying to anticipate, okay, what kind of changes might take place relative to what Tom’s done in New England?” Payton said. “Usually you have preseason film. When you have new staffs, you deal with some of this. But there certainly is a little uncertainty relative to the scheme. But there is no uncertainty relative to the talent level.”