Tom Brady's Ex-Teammate Tedy Bruschi Advises Bucs 'Get over Brady-Watching'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2020

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 18:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks on with former Patriot Tedy Bruschi after defeating the Indianapolis Colts in the 2015 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 18, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Colts 45-7. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Former New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi warned Tampa Bay Buccaneers players not to become overdependent on Tom Brady, his former teammate with the Pats.

Bruschi told ESPN's Jenna Laine in an interview released Saturday he coined the term "Brady-watching" to describe a team leaning too heavily on its quarterback to save them in tough situations.

"They need to get over Brady-watching. Because they get to the sideline and all of a sudden it's like, 'It's OK, Tom will bail us out.' That's what I call Brady-watching," Bruschi said.

He added: "I'll be watching that early on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, if they're Brady-watching or if they feel themselves as a team that everything is important, and not just when that guy right there is under center and everything is gonna magically happen."

Bruschi and Brady spent nine seasons together in New England before the linebacker's retirement in 2008. They won three Super Bowls while serving as the leaders on their respective side of the ball, and the Pats went on to win three more titles before the QB's departure.

The 46-year-old California native expanded on his recommendation of Bucs players not looking at their new quarterback in a special light or calling him the GOAT in his conversation with Laine:

"I'll say this right now, if those players see him as that four-letter word, they better get over it. The four-letter word is a word I will not use to describe him. It's that farm animal, it starts with G. I don't do that. Because that's almost like putting him on a pedestal. It's like, dude, you're still the same guy I intercepted in practice and took 20 bucks from. Come on, now.

"That's my one advice to his teammates right now. He is on a level plane as you, because he's gonna make mistakes, but he's also gonna make you better. And it can't be done without you. Don't look to him to do it. Our teams never did."

Of course, that's easier said than done. Brady arrives in Tampa Bay as one of the most decorated players in NFL history and is potentially the one missing piece for a Bucs squad with high-end playmaking talent on both sides of the ball.

His signing, paired with the acquisition of tight end Rob Gronkowski from the Patriots after a brief one-year retirement, has pushed the Buccaneers to the forefront of the championship conversation.

Tampa is listed with 12-1 odds to win next season's Super Bowl, per Caesars Palace. Only the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs (4-1), Baltimore Ravens (8-1) and San Francisco 49ers (8-1) have lower odds.

A major factor in determining the Bucs' true upside is whether Brady, whose 24 touchdown passes last season were his lowest total since 2006, can bounce back thanks to his myriad of weapons in Tampa Bay, led by the receiver tandem of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

Bruschi's comments are a reminder the 42-year-old University of Michigan product isn't a superhero, but there's enough talent around him to help him reach the NFL mountaintop for a seventh time.