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Tom Brady: Bucs must work, fight harder in season’s second half

The Bucs must show more energy and focus than they exhibited Sunday, the veteran quarterback says on his weekly podcast.
Tom Brady tossed two first-quarter interceptions, one of which was attributed directly to him, in Sunday's 29-19 loss to Washington in Landover, Md.
Tom Brady tossed two first-quarter interceptions, one of which was attributed directly to him, in Sunday's 29-19 loss to Washington in Landover, Md. [ NICK WASS | Associated Press ]
Published Nov. 16, 2021|Updated Nov. 16, 2021

The day after his terse postgame news conference in the wake of his team’s unsightly loss to Washington, Tom Brady was far more talkative — and contemplative — on his weekly podcast.

Speaking to Let’s Go! host Jim Gray, Brady said dealing with questions following a defeat remains a challenge for him because the expectations surrounding his performance only have increased as he has aged.

“I think when you win it’s a relief, and when you lose it’s a real disappointment,” said Brady, who shut down his postgame appearance after fewer than two minutes following Sunday’s 29-19 defeat.

“So sometimes you’re missing the joy in this, and I have to be reminded of the joy of playing, and that takes a little perspective. But it’s hard when you’re in the fight.”

Brady acknowledged Washington “played exactly how they wanted to play,” imposing its will on both sides. The Bucs, by contrast, suffered from vast self-infliction (two interceptions, 43 penalty yards) that led to a 13-0 first-half deficit.

“If you throw interceptions, if you commit penalties, if you get behind by 10 points at the end of the first quarter, it’s going to be a hard day, I don’t care who you play,” Brady said. “You could play Tampa Bay High School, and we’re going to have a hard time beating those guys.”

He also indirectly echoed coach Bruce Arians, who acknowledged earlier Monday his team lacked passion on Sunday.

“The things we can control are ultimately the most important thing, and that’s us being on the same page, and our communication,” Brady said. “Communication and concentration, energy, all those things matter. And we’ve got to improve those things, that’s the reality.

“And I’m not going to get into a bunch of scheme things that we need to do differently. We’ve got to execute better, for sure. I’ve got to execute better, I’ve got to make the plays that are there to be made. And I’m sure a lot of guys after today’s meetings feel exactly how I feel.”

With eight regular-season games remaining, the Bucs (6-3) are the No. 5 seed in the NFC playoff standings. But they enter the season’s latter half far more banged up than they were a year ago, when they went 4-0 following their bye week before their magical four-game playoff run.

Two primary offensive weapons — tight end Rob Gronkowski (ribs, back) and receiver Antonio Brown (ankle) — remain sidelined, at least five cornerbacks are injured, and nose tackle Vita Vea is battling a knee bruise and mild MCL sprain.

“We’re going to have to show a lot of resiliency, we’ve got to show a lot of mental toughness,” Brady said.

“We’re going to have to work harder than what we’ve worked. We’re going to have to fight harder than the way we fought. And if we do that, we’ll see how it shakes out at the end of 17 games.”

Contact Joey Knight at Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

Related: Bucs' entire roster shares the pain when Tom Brady gets hit

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