TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht isn’t worried about the arrival of quarterback Tom Brady who will put too much pressure on his young roster to come up.
Appearing on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt on Thursday night, Licht was asked if he was concerned that “ease could be crippling” for his team, which has not gone to the postseason since 2007 and few players have playoff experience.
“I don’t have many concerns right now,” said Licht, who had two stints with the Patriots and was the GM of the Bucs in 2014. “We have a head coach [Bruce Arians] that, to be perfectly frank, would not be here for the next 15, 20 years training the Buccaneers. So I think this is really a perfect marriage: You have two guys who have something to prove; they want to win, they want to win now; they have the same mindset. “
Arians has four years left on his current contract, despite sources close to the 67-year-old head coach, who retired after the 2017 season before returning to the Bucs coach in 2019, he believes coaching can be done after two or three years. Brady, meanwhile, has signed a two-year deal with the Bucs this offseason after 20 seasons playing for the New England Patriots.
“Getting Tom here, quite frankly, started renting Bruce last year,” Licht said. “I don’t know if we would have been in this situation without Bruce Arians as our head coach. And they’re kind of living in parallel right now; they have something to prove, and they want to do it now.”
In February, Arians was asked by the NFL if he could pick up the phone and call a quarterback at the free agency, who is it? His answer? Brady.
Brady, 42, has won six Super Bowls, while Arians, a two-time AP NFL Coach of the Year (2012, 2014), has not won one as a head coach. He did, however, win Super Bowls XL and XLIII as an assistant along with The Pittsburgh Steelers – one of which is at the Tampa, Florida, Super Bowl site this season. No home team has ever won a Super Bowl.
Licht talked about Brady’s humility, as if he were attracted to his new teammates.
“He didn’t want to come in here and be the greatest,” Licht said. “He just wants to make sure his teammates respect him. And he has something to prove.”
Earlier Thursday, inside linebacker Devin White – the Bucs’ fifth overall draft last year – Brady said he would push their young defense to rise to new heights, the same way it faces future Hall of Famer Drew Brees, whose Bucs opened the season against New Orleans.
“He knew where the ball was going, and it was just him [does] it’s very fast. I think that’s something that Tom brings to the training, ”White said.
“We as a defense, will teach us more about how to disguise, because we don’t want him to pick us every day in training camp. We will be better off with our disguises. We’ll try to confuse him a little … . Against him will really make us take our game to a whole new level. “