Bruce Arians Says Tom Brady Is 'All in' After 11-Day Absence from Buccaneers Camp

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 31, 2022

Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' consultant and former head coach Bruce Arians attempted to allay any concerns about quarterback Tom Brady's commitment to the team this week.

In the wake of Brady's 11-day excused absence from training camp, Arians told Jori Epstein of USA Today the following regarding the seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback:

"You can ask the players in the huddle who get their butt chewed out by him. They all know he's laser-focused and ready to roll. So I would say to anyone: Don't worry about Tom Brady. One thing about Tom Brady is you never have to worry about focus. He's all in, or he wouldn't be there."

Arians admitted that he had never seen a player miss 11 days of training camp in the manner Brady did, but also supported the decision, saying: "I never had Tom Brady. It's a matter of when you're 45 and you have way, way more things in your life going on than a 25-year-old does. Tom needed the time. I think it was a really good move for everybody."

Brady officially returned to the team on Aug. 22, giving him nearly three weeks to prepare for the Bucs' season-opening game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 11.

Upon returning to the team, Brady told reporters his absence was due to personal reasons and didn't elaborate much beyond that:

"It's all personal. You know, everyone's got different situations they're dealing with. So we've all got really unique challenges to our life. I'm 45 years old, man. There's a lot of s--t going on. So you've just got to try to figure out life the best you can. It's a continuous process."

Brady announced his retirement from the NFL at the conclusion of the 2021 season after 22 years in the league, but that was short-lived, as he then announced his return a little over a month later in March.

The 45-year-old veteran's perceived waffling has led to some questions about how locked in he is ahead of the 2022 season, but it is difficult to envision Brady being anything other than 100 percent committed to winning, given his track record.

The five-time Super Bowl MVP, three-time NFL MVP and surefire, first-ballot Hall of Famer is arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history, and his competitive fire has plenty to do with that distinction.

Brady could have rested on his laurels after winning six Super Bowls in 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, but he instead tackled a new challenge and won another Super Bowl in his first season with the Bucs in 2020.

Last season, the Buccaneers fell to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Round of the playoffs, but Brady was as good as ever.

He finished as the runner-up for NFL MVP after completing 67.5 percent of his passes and leading the league in both passing yardage (5,316) and passing touchdowns (43).

Even at this point in his career, Brady continues to play at an elite level, and there are still no signs that he is slowing down or experiencing any type of dip in his performance.

Based on that and the fact that he is as experienced and accomplished as anyone in the NFL, an 11-day absence doesn't figure to have much of a negative impact on his play once the 2022 campaign begins.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.