Bucs Notes: Brady, TEs, OL, Free Agency

Tom Brady‘s transition to a new team in advance of his 21st NFL season has obviously been less than ideal, with the COVID-19 pandemic preventing the future Hall of Famer from working with teammates and coaches at the Buccaneers‘ facility. The first time the soon-to-be 43-year-old quarterback is expected to be permitted to enter his new team’s facilities will be training camp. But the Bucs do not plan to compensate for this by giving Brady more preseason work. Bruce Arians said Thursday he doubts Brady will need more preseason time to make up for the virtual offseason, per Greg Auman of The Athletic (on Twitter). Still, Brady’s preseason snaps figure to be more important than usual this year.

Here is the latest out of Tampa:

  • Arians has not gotten much out of the tight end position during his stay as head coach in Arizona and Tampa. That should soon change. The Bucs currently house an all-time tight end stable, with Rob Gronkowski joining the team’s O.J. HowardCameron Brate duo already regarded as one of the NFL’s best. Arians said the Bucs will use a two-tight end offense as their base this season (via Auman, on Twitter). Going with more “12 personnel” looks would give Howard and Brate more time on the field and potentially represent an effort to conserve Gronkowski, who retired partially because of injury issues last year. This also points to the Bucs giving stronger consideration to keeping all three tight ends rather than trading Howard or Brate. Arians even said he’s interested in three-tight end looks.
  • Tampa Bay is not expected to make a move to add interior offensive linemen to back up starters Ali Marpet, Alex Cappa and Ryan Jensen, Arians added (via Auman, on Twitter). The Bucs did not draft any guards or centers, but Arians likes what he has seen from backups Aaron Stinnie, Anthony Fabiano and Zack Bailey. A fifth-year blocker, Fabiano is now on his eighth team. Stinnie was a 2018 Titans UDFA; Bailey was a Bucs 2019 UDFA who spent much of last year on IR.
  • However, the Bucs are keeping multiple roster spots open for possible veteran additions. Arians said (via Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com, on Twitter) he and GM Jason Licht discussed saving room for veterans who would be more prepared to play than rookie UDFAs. With Brady on a two-year deal, Tampa Bay stockpiling vets would make sense.
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6 comments on “Bucs Notes: Brady, TEs, OL, Free Agency

  1. braveshomer

    lol its funny Arians forgot Tight End was even a position until Brady showed up…now he’s interested in 3 TE sets?! This should be interesting…

    • Ak185

      Kind of surprising that neither Brate nor Howard got traded for some value, right? I know Gronkowski won’t be there long but you figure that some team would give up some value for one of the Bucs’ luxuries here.

    • seth3120

      I don’t know. Good coaches play to their players strengths and adapt. Winston is a deep ball guy Brady isn’t so maybe hes changing out of necessity. Arians is a smart coach he really is. Not saying I know it all or his thinking but that could make some sense

      • bravesfan88
        bravesfan88

        You’re spot on the mark Seth. Arians is just playing to his AND Brady’s strengths..

        If their O-Line can hold up enough to develop their running game, and to develop deeper routes, the Bucs could be dangerous. People often for forget this team had a very solid defense last season..

        • Eatdust666

          Yes, because they are looking at the fact that they gave up 449 points, though that wasn’t completely due to the defense, numbers may have looked nicer if Winston didn’t put them into as many bad spots as he did and I’m not even just referring to NFL record 7 pick sixes in a season.

          • cka2nd

            If memory serves, the annual number of three-WR sets has been shrinking some, while two-TE sets are increasing. Wouldn’t be surprised if three-TE sets are, too, and I just learned that Seattle isn’t the only team using an O lineman as a second or third TE on downs other than short yardage ones. We may be seeing a bit of a league-wide trend at work here.

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