Tom Brady Says His Arm 'Is as In-Shape as It Has Ever Been' at 43 Years Old

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2020

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) during an NFL football organized team activity Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Bruce Arians' offense is going to make Tom Brady throw the ball more downfield than perhaps at any other point in his career. At age 43, Brady seems up for the task.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback told Peter King of NBC Sports his arm feels "as in-shape as it ever has been" ahead of his first season with the team:

"I feel really good. I think my arm is strong and is good and is as in-shape as it has ever been. I think every offense demands some different things, and everybody has a different belief on how to move the ball downfield and score points. Again, being in one place and you have that familiarity, which is why I think continuity in the NFL is so important.

"When you look at Sean Payton and Drew Brees, they're so on the same page with their belief of how to do that, it provides them with a lot of margin of error. In a really condensed format that we have, we're really trying to get on the same page—myself, Byron [Leftwich], BA [Bruce Arians]—trying to really understand each other. They obviously know how I've done things; I'm trying to understand how they do things so that it can be as efficient as possible."

Brady's ability to find continuity with his teammates took a major hit this offseason because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the future Hall of Famer held several private workouts, players were barred from practicing on team facilities and from working under the supervision of coaches. The beginning of training camp was the first time Brady and Arians were able to work together in person.

While Brady thrived in several different offensive systems in New England, the one employed by Arians is among the most aggressive in football. Jameis Winston averaged 10.5 intended air yards per attempt last season, the second-highest rate in the NFL. Brady averaged just 7.6 yards through the air.

Whereas easy dump-offs to running backs became a staple in New England over the last few years, no Bucs running back had more than 35 receptions in 2019.

With Brady's accuracy taking a severe dip last season (from 65.8 percent in 2018 to 60.8 percent in 2019), there should be some genuine concern about the Arians-Brady fit.