The Tampa Bay Buccaneers introduced their newest quarterback, Tom Brady to the media via a conference call on Tuesday. Below is the full transcript of the questions and answers from Brady, along with GM Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians who were also on the call.
(Jason Licht’s opening statement)
“I’d like to thank you guys for joining us today as well. Obviously this is a little bit of a different format due to all that is going on in the world. As we continue to work through free agency, prepare for the draft, we’re still very mindful of the people who are being effected by the current landscape around the world. We hope that life will return to normal for all of us soon.
“To say that this is an exciting day for the Bucs organization and for me personally would be a rather large understatement. Tom is, quite simply, the greatest quarterback to play the game of football. Anytime you can add someone of his caliber you instantly make your organization better. He’s got a long list of truly remarkable accomplishments in his career, frankly too many to mention here. Going after Tom in free agency was our No. 1 priority this offseason because we knew he’d be a perfect fit for what we’re trying to do here. He’s a Buccaneer today, not for what he’s done in the past, but for what we know he can accomplish here in the near future as well. We know that Tom is going to have a transformative effect in our locker room, and he’s going to demand the best out of himself, his teammates and anybody that is around him.
“Also, at this point I’d like to thank the Glazer family for providing us with the resources and the leadership to make such a bold move in free agency. We wouldn’t be here today if not for their passion and desire to win another Super Bowl, hopefully more for our fans. This is an all-out effort from every level of the organization, from scouts to coaches to our front office and especially ownership. Today we begin a new era in the Buccaneers that will define our franchise for many years to come.”
(Bruce Arians opening statement)
“To echo what Jason said, I hope everyone is healthy, I hope your families are healthy as you’re dealing with this crisis that we’re going through. Hopefully football can be a little bit of a bright light for the upcoming days and months ahead.
“I’m extremely excited, wish we could start practice tomorrow, but we can’t obviously, to have Tom lead our football team into the future. I’ve been very, very blessed as a coach to have been around some of the great ones, and now to have the greatest one of all time, not just because of what he does on the field but because of what he does to his teammates. Everywhere he is he makes everyone better that walks into that huddle. Really just excited to get started.”
(Tom Brady’s opening statement)
“Thank you very much, I appreciate you taking the time today, this is an exciting moment for me in my life. This is something that’s obviously very unique to me as it’s the first time this has happened in 20 years so I’m kind of taking it day by day. The expectation for me is to come in and do what I feel is right for the organization and that’s to be a great team player and I’m going to try and do everything I can to get up to speed with all the things I need to do with what my responsibilities are. I obviously have a ton of trust and respect for coach Arians, for what Jason has done to build the team and organization as is now. I’m thankful to the Glazer family to give me an opportunity and as I said the other day
“I look forward to meeting all my teammates and doing everything I can for us to achieve what we set out. There’s a lot that goes into it and as soon as we can get those things going the greater it will be for everybody. But understanding the circumstances of what we’re dealing with, we’re in a little approach and we’re going to have to adjust as is such what happens in football and in life, and that’s what my plan is.”
(On having all the success in New England, and what he can do to bring success to Tampa Bay)
“I think, obviously, where I’ve been I’ve learned a great deal. As I move forward, like I said the other day, no one cares what you did in the past, they don’t care what you did last year or five years ago or 10 years ago and I think the knowledge I’ve had with experience playing quarterback will allow me to transition quickly. There’s a lot of things that I got to get up to speed on, obviously learning different terminology and that’s a unique challenge that I haven’t faced but it’s one that I’m looking forward to also. Again, I’m not going to make a bunch of predictions to where I’ve been, this is I go in looking forward to the opportunity to learn from the new coaches and the new players that I’ll be playing with and I’m going to go out and give it everything I got.”
(On what gave him the confidence to know that Tampa Bay was the right place for him)
“I don’t want to get into any process decision making at the time but there were a lot of things that were really intriguing about the organization and the players and the coaches and the willingness of everyone to try to accomplish the goal of what playing football is, which is to win. I’m going to try and do everything I can in my positon and what I’m responsible for to make it happen and I got to trust that everyone else is doing the exact same thing. That part is no different from what I’ve experienced for 20 years in my own role.”
(On how attractive to him is Bruce Arians’ “no risk it, no biscuit” mentality and if that appeals to him)
“I’ve paid attention to he and his offense for a long time. Everybody has somewhat different styles and philosophies for how they call things but football to me is about throwing the ball to the guy who’s open. If he’s open deep, that’s where you throw it, if he’s open short, you throw it there, if he’s open outside, you throw it there, if he’s open inside, that’s where you throw it. You get the ball to the guys who can do something with it. There’s some really talented players here on this offense that have very unique skill sets and it’s really my responsibility, I have one ball and I got to be able to deliver that ball to the guy who can do something with it.
“There’s a lot of ground to makeup because I haven’t worked these players and I’m going to have to learn what they do, and their body language and how they like things. That’s part of the challenge, and it’s unfortunate we’re going through our world, it presents different challenges for all of us. Again, as soon as we have the opportunity to all be together in one place and we can really start working towards that, that’s what I’m going to do.”
(On if there was any moment or play from the Bucs that stood out to him and made him know this was the team for him)
“There’s not one single thing that got to the point where I’m at today. In playing quarterback for a long time that’s what I do, I watch film and I study and I try to learn, I try to grow and I try to evolve every year. I’ve watched this offense over a long period of time with a lot of different quarterbacks and have a lot of success. It’s a great offense for the quarterbacks, it’s a great offense for the receivers, it’s a great offense for the tight ends, for the running backs, there’s been a lot of players who have been a great part of working with coach Arians. For me, it’s for me to come in and understand the things that I got to learn to be successful for what we’re all trying to do and what we collectively do well. It’s not about what one player does well, great offenses aren’t about one player, great offenses are about every guy being on the same page and playing with confidence and anticipation. Until you get to work on doing those things, and for me getting all the logistical things out of the way is important because there’s tactical aspect that I have got to get to that.
“I have really got to get up to speed on. It’s going to be a busy offseason for me learning a lot of new things, which is a great challenge and a great opportunity for me, and I’m going to just do it the only way I know how to do it, which is just to fully engulf myself in what’s done here. It’s a new program that I’m a part of and they have their way of doing things and they’re committed to winning. I’m going to do my part and that’s why I’m here.”
(On how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected his personal life and how he’s dealt with it)
“I think there are logistical things that are happening that are not just for me, but everyone’s going through their lives in a different way right now and there’s still a lot of change happening and you just got to manage it the best way possible. Everyone seems to be in different locations but I think the important is that everyone’s trying to make it work and everyone’s trying to figure out how to adjust and adapt to some new realities that we’re all facing.
“You’ve seen a lot of these other leagues that have been cancelled, delayed, we as football players, there are aspects of our offseason that has changed and I’m sure they’ll change to a degree but that doesn’t stop me from figuring out what I got to do for my professional life to try and still learn the things I need to learn and train the way I need to train because as far as I know there’s nothing that’s delayed the start of our season at this point, and I got to do everything I can to be prepared as I would in an offseason where we weren’t dealing with what we’re dealing with.
“Again, I’m not making any predictions about that, I’m just going to take it day to day with how I’m doing and I’m going to try and learn things that I need to learn. One day at a time is a cliche but it’s definitely not a cliche in the way that I’m trying to live my life right now, it’s been a new reality for all of us.”
(On being a fan of Joe Montana growing up and how it struck him when he left the 49ers for the Chiefs)
“I was at Joe’s last game at Candlestick Park. I actually went out there and saw it with my friend and I’ll never forget that. He was an incredible player, he and Steve Young were my quarterback idols growing up. I think life, it continues to change for all of us, having the opportunity for me to continue to play football and lead a team is something that I love doing. And I’d loved playing the sport since I was a kid, since I was throwing footballs in the parking lot at Candlestick and I still love doing that today. I train hard, I try to keep my body as physically fit as possible, mentally I try to stay sharp although it’s going to be a different challenge this year in learning but I’m going to do everything I can to do the best I possibly can and I’m just excited to embrace this opportunity.
“And take it for what it is, which is a lot of guys that have been a part of this team and they want to be the best they can be and they want to achieve the highest goal and I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of that and there’s no way to do it, you can’t talk your way into it, it’s a lot of hard work, there’s a lot of commitment, and it’s a lot of people that are just aligned trying to do the right thing. Again, I don’t know when our first OTA will be, but I’m sure there will be a lot of guys that I’m excited to me and I’m going to try to get the best out of myself and try to get the best out of them. It’s all going to be dependent on the guys in the building and the facility to make it happen.”
(On if he agrees with Robert Kraft’s statements in interviews saying that leaving the Patriots is what he wanted)
“I’m not responsible for how other people will say certain things. I think Mr. Kraft has been a great influence on my life and I’m so grateful for two decades and I referenced that the other day. It’s been an amazing thing for my family and I’m sure when I’m done playing I’ll look back and have a chance to really reevaluate my entire career. At the same time, I’m excited for this opportunity that I have and I can only speak to how I feel and I wrote about that in my social media the other day. Getting to be a free agent and having the opportunity to join the Bucs was something that I was really excited and that’s where we’re at.”
(On if he was disappointed that the Patriots didn’t make more of an effort to bring him back or show appreciation for what he’s accomplished for the them)
“No, I have a great deal of respect, there’s nobody that’s been a bigger fan of the Patriots than me. I have nothing but total respect and love and I’m so grateful to Mr. Kraft and the organization and coach Belichick and all the coaches and obviously all my teammates. It’s been a lot of days responding to a lot of incredible text messages from my teammates, from former teammates, from just a lot of the great people I got to meet over the years. I got so many great relationships that will be maintained and I think that’s the greatest gift that football has brought me is the relationships that I’ve had with the people I’ve worked with. It’ll be certainly different but at the same time that’s the way life can be at times. What won’t be different is my approach to the game, my approach to what my roles and responsibilities are and I’m going to go out and do the best I can every day to put our team in a position to win.”
(On the challenges that the off-season will present with OTA’s in doubt)
“I’m not going to make predictions on how the next couple of months are going to go and I don’t really know what’s going to happen and what’s predicted for our access to the team facilities and so forth so I’m going to do my best to be in conversation with guys and try to get together and find ways try to meet up in different places and get to work in that sense. Technology is an amazing thing and we’re going to use technology as best we can to try and get to know each other and for me, they’re ahead of me on what they need to know in terms of the offense so I have to get up to speed with the things that they already know and their terminology. It’s a lot of time and energy but that’s what I love to do. The only way to start is to start doing it so that’s what I’ve go to do.”
“There’s a lot of change and it’s just that. You move from the northeast to the south and the climate’s different, there’s a lot of things that will be a little bit different. My drive to work will be different, there’s a lot of things. And it’s not like I’m 25 where I basically pack a suitcase and go, I have three kids and it’s changing a little bit of our life but that’s life and that’s what people do and that’s what you do when you have opportunities at other jobs in other places. A lot of coaches deal with that, there’s a lot of players who deal with that, they deal with it every year and in that sense I’m no different then what so many other people have gone through. You do the best that you can do and make the transition as smooth as possible and again, for me, what’s most important is to try and make it a smooth transition with my family just so I can get to work with what I need to focus on.
“Hopefully I can get those things finished here in the next couple of weeks and get up to speed with things I need to learn and a lot of that is just studying a playbook and getting to know my teammates through phone calls and so forth, that’s how we ultimately have the opportunity to be together and get to know eachother in that type of way.”
“It was really the night where I stopped by … I spoke with Mr. Kraft and asked if I could come over and see him and we spoke and had a great conversation. I just wanted to express what hes meant to me in my life and we spoke to Coach Belichick at the same time, we were in different locations, we talked to him and it was a great conversation. I got a chance to talk to Johnathan Kraft as well and all three of those guys have been involved in so many important decisions in my life, career-related, personal-related, and I leave there with great admiration for the people in that organization and it’s a world-class, first-class organization in every way and I wanted to leave it that way.
“The Patriots have a great team, they always do, they have great players, great leadership, great coaches and I certainly wish them the best but for me, I have to transition and focus on the opportunity I have to make the current situation that I’m in the best that I possibly can. They hired me to do a job here and I’m going to go in there and do it like you’ve always seen me do for a long time, like the fans have always seen me do, like opposing coaches, my teammates have seen me do. I’m going to give it everything that I’ve got like I’ve done everything in my life as long as I’ve been playing this sport.”
“It’s a good division with good quarterbacks, very good offenses but very athletic defenses as well. Winning the division is always a hard thing to do, the teams know each other so well. I haven’t played this division but once every four years. I’ve got to learn the players, I’ve got to learn the schemes, there’s a lot of things I have to learn and get up to speed on so that’s where all my time and energy will be focused on. And learning my teammates, learning guys like Mike and Chris, O.J. and Cam, a lot of the skill players. Ronald Jones and obviously the offensive line, they’re a very talented group. There’s a lot of things for me to focus on and a lot of time and energy is going to be spent getting up to speed with the tactical things about how I can do the best job I can for the team. Anything outside of that is really, in essence, not a high priority for me. Not to say that things are unimportant but I’ve got to be able to prioritize my time and energy so that I can learn what I need to learn to go out and do a great job for this organization.”
(On Byron Leftwich)
“I’m excited. We’ve had a chance to talk a couple of times and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know him a bit. Obviously we’re around the same age and I’ve watched him play for a long time, competed against him and he’s done an incredible job transitioning into his second career which is a coach. It’s going to be a lot of fun, that’s all I can say. I’m excited to do it. I think Byron gets along with just about everybody he comes in contact with because he’s a very personable, outgoing guy and everyone says great things about him. In my brief experience in talking to him, I would say that all of those things seem to be true. He’s got great football knowledge and it’ll be fun to get to know each other, it’ll be fun to talk about football, we’ve both made a huge commitment in our lives to do that and it’ll be fun to take on this challenge together.”
(On what it would have taken for him to stay in New England)
“I don’t want to talk about the past because that’s not relevant to what’s important in my future and what’s going on in this off-season for me and like I said, I had nothing but two decades of an incredible experience and learning from some of the best players and the best coaches and the ownership of the team. For all of us, things in life can change and you have to be able to adapt and evolve. With each of those changes comes different opportunities to learn and grow and that’s where I’m at. Any time you leave somewhere it’s very emotional and the transition, I’d say, is very emotional with guys that I’ve talked to that I’ve shared the field with because the relationships are what matter most to me. I’ll be friends with my teammates and my former teammates my coaches for the rest of my life and that’s not going to leave just because
“I’m wearing a different jersey but at the same time, for me, the new jersey that I’m wearing, I’m prepared to give them every bit of commitment that I’ve had my entire career to be the best that I can be to help this team be the best it can be. I did say there’s not one person that makes a team, it’s every single person doing their job every day that’s committed and determined to be the best. I’m a very disciplined quarterback, I try to follow through on the things that I’m committed to and I try to work every day to be the best that I can be and that’s what I’m going to try and push my teammates to do and I’m excited to get started.”