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Tom Brady reflects on breakup with Patriots during Bucs introductory press conference

Patriots: New England Nation

TAMPA, Fla. (WPRI) ─ In just eight days, Tom Brady announced he would not re-sign with the New England Patriots, inked a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was introduced as the team’s new quarterback.

Brady was welcomed as the Bucs newest member via conference call Tuesday afternoon.

Below are many of the questions Brady fielded and his responses:

Q: What can you do to change things in Tampa since they haven’t been to the playoffs since 2007?

A: “I think it’s honestly, where I’ve been, I’ve learned a great deal. As I move forward, no one cares what you’ve done in the past. They don’t care what you did last year or five years ago or 10 years ago. I hope the knowledge and experience I have as a quarterback will allow me to transition quickly. There’s a lot of things I have to get up to speed on. Obviously learning new terminology. That’s a unique challenge I haven’t faced but it’s one i’m looking forward to. I’m not going to make a bunch of predictions. I’m looking forward to learning under the new coaches and players I’m playing with and I’m going to go out and give it everything I’ve got.”

Q: Why are you confident Tampa Bay is the right place?

A: “I don’t want to get into every decision I was making at the time, but there were a lot of things that were intriguing to me about the organization and the players and the coaches. The willingness of everyone trying to accomplish the goal in football, which is to win. I’m going to try and do everything I can that I’m responsible for to make that happen. That part is no different from what I’ve experienced in 20 years.”

Q: How attractive is Bruce Arians’ offense?

A: “I’ve paid attention to his offense for a long time. Everyone has slightly different styles and philosophies on how they call things. Football to me is about throwing the ball to the guy that’s open. If he’s open deep, throw it there. If he’s open short you throw it there…you get the ball to the guy who can do something with it. There’s some really talented players here on this offense who have their unique skill sets. I have one ball and I have to be able to deliver that ball to the guy who can do something with it. There’s a lot of ground to make up because I haven’t worked with these players. I’m going to have to learn what they do and their body language and how they like things. That’s part of the challenge. It’s unfortunate what’s going in our world and that’s one of the challenges.”

Q: Was there anything on the Tampa Bay film that stood out?

A: “In playing quarterback for a long time, I watch film, I study, I learn, I grow, I try to evolve. This is a time period where a lot of different quarterbacks have success. It’s a great offense for the quarterback…there’s been a  lot of great players who’ve worked with coach Arians. For me to come in and understand the things I have to learn in order to be successful…it’s not about one player. Great offenses are about every guy being on the same page and playing with confidence and anticipation. There’s a tactical aspect that I have to get to and it’s going to be a busy offseason.”

Q: How does the (coronavirus) pandemic affect your personal life?

A: “I think there’s logistical things that are happening, not just for me but everyone is going through it in a lot of different ways. You just have to manage it as best as possible. The important part is everyone is trying to make it work. Everyone is adapting to new realities. We as football players…there’s aspects of our offseason that changed but that doesn’t stop me from what I have to do in my professional life. As far as I know, there’s nothing that’s delayed the start of our season and I’ve got to do everything to be prepared (like a regular offseason). One day at a time is a cliche but it’s definitely not a cliche with how I’m trying to live my life right now.”

Q: How do you relate to Joe Montana leaving the 49ers? 

A: “I was at Joe’s last game at Candlestick (Park). I’ll never forget that. He and Steve Young are the quarterbacks I looked up to growing up. It continues to change for all of us, but having the opportunity to keep playing football and leading a team is something I love to do. I have loved playing the sport since i was a kid throwing footballs in the parking lot at Candlestick and I feel like I’m doing that today. I’m going to do everything I can to be the best I possibly can and I’m ready to embrace this opportunity. You can’t talk your way into it. It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of commitment. I’m going to try and get the best out of myself and the best out of everyone else.”

Q: Was leaving New England actually what you wanted?

A: “I’m not responsible for how other people will say certain things. Mr. Kraft has been a great influence on 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 I’ll have a chance to look back and reevaluate my entire career. At the same time I’m excited for this opportunity I have. I can only speak for how I feel. Having the opportunity to join the Bucs was something I was really excited about. 

Q: Were you disappointed that the Patriots didn’t make more of an effort to try to bring you back?

A: “I have a great deal of respect…there’s no one who is a greater fan of the Patriots than me. I spent a lot of days responding to a lot of text messages from teammates and former teammates. I have so many great relationships that will be maintained. It’ll certainly be different, but what won’t be different is my approach to the game.”

Q: What are the unique challenges that this offseason will present? How do you plan to get to know your teammates on and off the field? 

A: “I’m not going to make predictions how the next few months will go. I’m going to do the best I can do to have conversations with guys and try to get together and meet up in different places and get to work. Technology is an amazing thing and we’re going to use technology as best we can to get to know each other. They’re ahead of me in terms of what they need to know about the offense. I really have to get up to speed the things that they already know and the terminology. It’s a lot of time and energy but that’s what I love to do.”

Q: When did you decide you would not be re-signing with the Patriots, and how hard was it to tell Robert (Kraft) and the Patriots you were moving on?

A: “It was really the night that I had stopped by and seen — I spoke with Mr. Kraft and asked if I could come over and see him. We spoke and we had a great conversation. I just wanted to express what he’s meant to me in my life. We spoke with Coach (Bill) Belichick at the same time. We were at different locations, but we talked to him, and it was a great conversation. I got a chance to talk to Jonathan Kraft, as well. “All three of those guys have been involved in so many important decisions in my life, carer-related, personal-related. I leave there with just great admiration for the people and that organization. It’s a world-class, first-class organization in every way, and I wanted to leave it in that way too. I know the Patriots have a great team. They always do. They have great players, great leadership, great coaches. I certainly wish them the best, but for me, I’ve got to transition and focus on the opportunity I have to make the current situation I’m in as best as I possibly can. They hired me to do a job here, and I’m going to go in and do it like you’ve always seen me do for a long time, like the fans have always seen me do, like opposing coaches, like my teammates have seen me do. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got like I’ve done everything in my life for as long as I’ve been playing this sport.”

Q: What would it have taken for you to stay in New England?

A: “I don’t want to talk about the past because that’s not relevant to what’s important in my future and what’s going on this offseason for me. I had nothing but two decades of an incredible experience learning from some of the best players and best coaches and the ownership of the team. Things in life can change and you have to be able to adapt and evolve and with each of those changes you have to adapt and grow. And that’s where I’m at. Anytime you leave anywhere it’s very emotional. The relationships are what matter most to me. I’m going to be friend with my former teammates and coaches for the rest of my life.”

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