NFL

Bucs thrilled to have Brady back as Bowles sees no attitude issue

By Sports Desk August 23, 2022

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles explained Tom Brady's return to training camp after a planned absence has been a seamless one.

Brady left training camp on August 11 for an absence Bowles said was planned in advance so he could "deal with some personal things".

The seven-time Super Bowl champion returned to practice on Monday, as the Bucs step up their preseason preparations ahead of the new NFL campaign.

"Anytime you have all your guys back you feel good, you know, especially after the injury bug has hit lately. We're happy to have him back," Bowles told reporters.

Asked if Brady's attitude was a problem, or if his absence had in any way proved a distraction for the team, Bowles said: "He's been great. He's been great, same as when he left. He's been fine.

"We pretty much keep distractions out of our locker room. It wasn't a big deal to us because everybody knew what was going on."

As for what Brady has missed over the course of his break, Bowles added: "Probably just conditioning for the most part. He's a film junkie – I'm sure he's watched tape of everything.

"So [it's] him coming back in, picking up where he left off, just getting used to the mechanics again.

"He's very familiar with the offense, so him coming back in and us getting back to work is kind of normal. Just getting used to the heat and getting used to the guys, but he ran the offense well." 

Bowles might not believe Brady's team-mates were in any way distracted, but tight end Cameron Brate conceded it was "weird" not to have the 45-year-old around.

"It was definitely weird," Brate said. "Tom is such an omnipresent being, he's like the unquestioned leader of the team. For him to not be there for 11 days it was kind of a good opportunity for other guys to step up and fill that void.

"It was different, Tom is usually kind of cussing guys up and down the field when we're messing up, but we didn't really have that. It was different, but I thought some of the other veterans stepped up. I thought Blaine [Gabbert] did a good job commanding the first team offense while Tom was out.

!I'm sure wherever Tom was, he was working out still and getting his reps in. If anyone can get away with an 11-day break during training camp, it's Tom. He came back firing on all cylinders. We are all excited he's back, and we are ready to move on with that."

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