TAMPA — It may happen over the next few weeks, or months, but not overnight. Tom Brady said it will take time for him to learn more about his Bucs teammates, but they are playing catch up right now.
“We’re going to be building all season,” Brady said during his weekly Monday night appearance on Westwood One. "Not having that offseason program, not having preseason games, you’re kind of thrust into the action and every team is dealing with it. So the ones that have real continuity, I think there’s a little bit of an advantage there if you use it, if you play well.
"We’re trying to catch up on the field and as much as we’d love for everything to come together instantaneously, we all realize it’s going to take some time. We’re all getting to know each other. Getting to know each other personally, getting to know each other professionally, figuring out how everyone can play a different role and play it well.
“It’s going to take us a little bit of time, and we’re going to work our ass off to get it right.”
Brady, 43, led the Bucs to a 31-17 win over the Carolina Panthers in Sunday’s home opener.
Before signing with Tampa Bay, Brady said he sought advice from quarterbacks who have switched teams, such as Brett Favre and Peyton Manning.
“I had to learn my drive to work, learn a different routine, a different practice schedule. Different practice fields, different climate, different stadiums," he said. “So there’s just a lot of new things. It’s all good. There’s so much exciting things about that as well. I’ve really loved working with my coaches, the different players, getting to know a different set of guys, watching their level of commitment and detail. Things are just going to continue to improve because we’ve got a lot of great character guys on the team and we’re just getting to know one another and continue to build on the good things and continue to eliminate the bad things.”
The Bucs made plenty of mistakes Sunday against the Panthers. They dropped passes and Brady threw another interception. The defense helped out by creating four turnovers.
“You have to learn from the wins and losses. Sometimes the losses bite a bit more than the wins do,” Brady said. “Sometimes when you win, there’s a sense of relief, just because you go through a really tough week of practice. When you win, you feel like, okay, there’s some good things to build on. Eliminate the mistakes and build on the good things. I guess I think our team is going to work to get everything right.”
Brady said he is fortunate to be in Tampa Bay.
“Well, it was my first time in free agency,” he said. “...I’m so happy I wound up with the Bucs and it’s just been an amazing six months for my family being here and getting to work. I’ll probably never be a free agent again but it felt nice to be wanted, kind of like you’re being recruited in college. It was a really unique experience.”