Tom Brady’s two-year tenure in Tampa Bay has been remarkable. The soon-to-be 45-year old Bucs quarterback has thrown for 9,949 yards with 83 touchdowns and 24 interceptions from 2020-21. More importantly, Brady led the Bucs to a win in Super Bowl LV. Last year, he guided the franchise to a record 13 regular season wins. Tampa Bay won its first NFC South title since 2007.
What can Brady do for an encore after leading the league in passing with 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns? Can Brady, who made his 15th Pro Bowl last year, top what he did in Tampa Bay in 2021?
Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“Well, I think if you ask him, the best thing he can do to have a better season than last is to win the Super Bowl,” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles said. “I don’t think the stats matter as much to him as winning. If he can win a game throwing 20 times, he’s happy. If he can win a game throwing 50 times, he’s happy. So, the best thing he can do is keep winning and as he’ll tell you, he needs to work at everything constantly because this game catches up to you if you don’t constantly work at things.”
Bowles is right. Despite becoming the league’s all-time leading passer last year with 84,520 career passing yards and throwing for a league-record 624 career touchdowns, Brady is all about winning. His 35 postseason wins are an all-time record, as are his 243 career regular season victories.
Brady has won seven Super Bowl rings – and he’s looking for an eighth in 2022. That desire burns especially bright after losing to the Rams, 30-27, in a heartbreaking defeat in the NFC Divisional Playoffs at Raymond James Stadium last year.
How Can Brady Improve On His Fantastic, Record-Breaking 2021 Season?
So, I asked Brady how he could be better in 2022 and improve on such a fantastic NFL season.
“In a lot of different ways,” Brady said. “I think that’s a good question. And it’s a good opportunity for us to all evaluate where we are at and what we need to do better. And I always feel like there are things that can be improved on in different areas. I think how I evaluate myself and my teammates is very different than how other people would.”
When pressed for some specific examples of areas he can improve on, Brady declined.
“None that I would want to share because I think those are very personal things that I’m trying to work on. And I’m trying to let the competition figure out,” Brady said. “I’m trying to let the competition figure out about my teammates as well. But I think we have a lot of communication between us about where things were off. And obviously, they have their evaluations, but you realize looking around, they’re often not always very right either – other NFL teams. They’re wrong a lot. There are a lot of people that are mis-evaluating things, so it probably puts you in the best position to succeed if you evaluate things properly. That’s hopefully what experience and wisdom can do being in this game.”
Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: USA Today
Despite passing for the third-most yards in a single season last year, Brady expects to be better in 2022. Not that he needs to throw for more yards. It’s all about being better enough in all areas to win more games – especially the Super Bowl. As Brady points out, continuity will be the key.
“That’s why wisdom, experience, people being together and continuity is really important,” Brady said. “Not to continue to do things poorly, but to continue to do things in a better way. Even though we didn’t win the championship, there were things we did better last year than we did the previous year. But that still doesn’t matter because ultimately, there is one goal for us. You’d like to string everything together. Even if you string all of those things together, it’s still very difficult to win the championship because there are 32 very competitive teams playing.
“What you can do is put yourself in the best position to succeed to give yourself the largest margin of error. So that if you don’t play your very best, you can still win against a very good opponent. That’s what we have to figure out how to do. When we play less than our best – still figure out a way to win situationally. Win in the fourth quarter, win running the ball, win by stopping them in a two-minute drive. There are a lot of situational things that are going to happen late in a game that, even though we may or may not have played our best for 58 minutes, we can still figure out how to win in the last two minutes of the game.”