Questions linger about Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady’s 11-day training-camp absence. 2022’s Let’s Go! He had the opportunity to fully study the situation during his debut episode, but surprisingly, he didn’t.
In a pre-Bucs-Cowboys sit-down with Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy for Sunday’s edition of Football Night in America, Tampa Bay coach Todd Bowles found a silver lining in the nearly two-week absence of his most important player in pewter. .
“I thought it was a good thing,” Bowles told Dungy, via JoeBucsFan.com. “And it helped us develop our run game a little bit more. You know, it’s like, ‘OK, we’ve got to play with Blaine [Gabert] or Kyle [Trusk], let’s develop some things to win ballgames.’ And I think in that process we got our running game going a little more because we spent a little more time on it, which maybe it wouldn’t have been here. So I think that has helped us in the long run. And we realized that we are a team and not just one man and one team. “
To see the glass as half full, seems like a determined attempt to turn an apparent negative into a positive. And when he refers to “long runs,” the real question is what Balls means. As it pertains to 2023, Gabbert and Trask’s reps could be helpful if/when Brady goes. But, obviously, they’ll get plenty of reps later. (If they’re even options at the position.) And to the extent that the run game becomes a component of the team’s inevitable post-Brady existence, it can be worked on after Brady is gone.
So this is the real question. Does Bowles consider the work he’s done in Brady’s absence useful over the “long run” of the season when Brady, who is currently “all-in” could go all-out again? At one point in the new Let’s Go!, Jim Gray floated the idea of NBA-style load management with Brady, which could be interpreted as the possibility of Brady shutting down the game at some point in a marathon-not-sprint. 17-game regular season. Given the new length of Brady’s 2021 NFL campaign, perhaps it would make sense for the 45-year-old quarterback to get another bye — even if the team doesn’t have the rest of it.
Regardless, the situation remains completely unprecedented. And since processing the news, interpreting it and moving on is one of the things we’re trying to do here, everything seems to still be on the table as it relates to whether or not Brady stays with the Buccaneers for every stop. The journey begins in just four days.