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Tom Brady Introductory Conference Call: Tampa Bay

Tom Brady Introductory Conference Call: Tampa Bay

03/25/2020
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Story Originally Published on CBSSports.com (3/24/20)

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Tom Brady was officially introduced as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday during a conference call with the media. Typically, this would have been an introductory press conference somewhere at the Bucs facility, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic team facilities are closed, players are not allowed on the premises and club personnel cannot physically meet with players until the coronavirus subsides. Despite that speed bump, it was unquestionably a momentous day for the Bucs and Brady's career. 

"Tom [Brady] is quite simply the greatest quarterback to ever play the game of football," said Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht, who also noted it was a new day in the franchise's history. "Tom in free agency was our No. 1 priority this offseason because we knew he'd be a perfect fit for what we're trying to do here. He's a Buccaneer today not for what he did in the past, but what we know he can accomplish here in the near future as well." 

Head coach Bruce Arians echoed Licht comments that Brady was the team's No. 1 choice and, once it became clear that he may leave the New England Patriots, they put a full court press on to try and land what they view to be a key leader to their team. 

"I've been very, very blessed to have coached and have been around some great ones and now I have the greatest one of all-time," Arians said of acquiring Brady. 

"He can do everything we want in our offense, but more than that is the leadership ability that we need in our locker room to get to where we want to go," he later added. "Once [singing Tom Brady] became a reality, it was full bore ahead to see what we've got to do to see if we can get this thing done." 

As for Brady, he started by noting that this is "an exciting moment for me in my life" and highlighted that now is the time for him to get caught up to speed with the Buccaneers offense, a sentiment he repeated in his early answers as to how he'll translate to Tampa's system. 

"The expectation for me is to come in and do what I feel is right for the organization and that is to be a great team player and I'm going to do everything I can to get up to speed with all the things that I need to do and what my responsibilities are," Brady said. 

Of course questions about his departure from the New England Patriots were sprinkled into this conference call and Brady noted a number of times that he has nothing but fond memories of his two-decades with the team. 

"Mr. Kraft has been a great influence in my life. I'm so grateful for two-decades and I referenced that the other day. It's been an amazing thing for my family and I'm sure when I'm done playing I'll look back and have a chance to really reevaluate my entire career. 

"At the same time, I'm excited for this opportunity that I have [with the Buccaneers] and I can only speak to how I feel and I wrote about that in my social media the other day. Getting to be a free agent and having the opportunity to join the Bucs was something that I was really excited about and that's why we're at where we're at." 

Later in the conference call, Brady was asked about the specific moment he made the decision that he was going to cut the chord between himself and the Patriots and tell Robert Kraft that he'd be moving on. 

"It was really the night that I had stopped by and spoke with Mr. Kraft and I asked to come over and see him," he said. "We spoke and we had a great conversation. I just wanted to express what he meant to me in my life and we spoke with Bill Belichick at the same time. We were in different locations, but we talked to him and it was a great conversation. I got a chance to talk to Jonathan Kraft as well and all three of those guys have been involved in so many important decisions in my life both career-related and personal-related. 

"I leave there with such great admiration for the people in that organization. It is a first-class organization in every way and I wanted to leave it that way, too."

Finally, Brady was simply asked what it would have taken for him to remain in New England. To that, Brady said, "I don't want to talk about the past because it's not relevant to what's important in my future and what's going on this offseason for me. Like I said, I have nothing but two-decades of incredible experiences and learning from some of the best players and the best coaches and the ownership of the team. I think for all of us things in life can change and you've got to be able to adapt and evolve and with each of those changes comes opportunities to learn and grow and that's where I'm at. 

"Anytime you leave somewhere it's very emotional and I've had my ... I would say the transition has been very emotional with a lot of guys that I've talked to and shared the field with. The relationships are what matter most and I'm going to be friends with my teammates, my former teammates and coaches for the rest of my life and that's not going to leave just because I'm wearing a different jersey. At the same time, the new jersey that I'm wearing, I'm prepared to give them every bit of commitment that I have my entire career because that's how I can help this team be the best it can be." 

Brady signed a two-year, $50 million deal with the Buccaneers and this introduction is the first step in a new journey for the six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback. ‚Äč

 

 
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