TAMPA — Tom Brady has the arm. He has the receivers to get deep. But the bomb has been misfiring.
In the past three games, on passes of more than 20 yards or more, Brady is 1-of-13. In Sunday’s 46-23 win at Carolina, Brady missed receiver Antonio Brown on the deep post pattern when he overthrew him and also missed on a couple other deep shots.
“It’s definitely something we’ve got to hit,” Brady said Friday. “Our guys are doing a great job getting down the field and it’s my job to find them and hit them. You know, if you don’t hit them, they’re just long foul balls and we had a few of those last game.”
On the Rams defense:
A year ago, the Bucs hung 55 points on the Rams in Los Angeles. But the defense the Bucs will see Monday night is ranked 10th overall in the NFL and has some new players, such as defensive back Jalen Ramsey (Florida State).
The Rams are among the league’s stingiest teams in total yards allowed (second with 296.4 per game, right ahead of the Bucs).
“Well, it’s a top 10 defense in every category,” Brady said. “Aaron Donald is as good as there is to probably have ever played in the National Football League on the defensive line. He’s an incredible player. Explosive, quick, powerful. It’s amazing the production he has even when people are double-teaming him, triple-teaming him. He never lets down. He’s a hard-working guy. You can tell football means a lot to him. But he really sparks that whole defense. ...
“They’ve got some really good players that maybe some people haven’t heard of but they’re playing really well. They’re fast, they attack, they’re aggressive, they’re in a good scheme. You don’t have a lot of time as a quarterback to sort things out because this D-line is on you so quick.”
On practicing at night:
The Bucs planned a night practice at Raymond James Stadium on Friday, trying to improve on their slow starts during prime time games (they are 1-2 this season).
Brady said he is used to altered practice schedules.
“Over the years, there’s been a lot of different practices. Morning. Night. Travel to practice. Practiced in gyms. Practiced on a cricket field once. ... Ballrooms. We’ve done it all.
“This is a big game for us. This is as big as it gets on Monday Night Football. This is one for us we’ve got to go out there and be 100 percent ready to go.”