Tom Brady the quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sat dejectedly on the floor of his locker on Thursday night at Raymond James Stadium, still dressed in full uniform even though many of his colleagues had already left for the night.
Brady arms folded and face red looked like he was still feeling the pain of the Bucs’ 27-22 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, their fifth loss in the past six games, which dropped him to 3-5 as a starter for the first time in his legendary 23-year NFL career.
Blaine Gabbert, the team’s backup quarterback, sat next to him, saying encouraging things, while Ryan Griffin, another quarterback, and quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen alternately patted him on the back.
Right tackle Tristan Wirfs remarked across from Brady’s locker, “I know he’s pretty harsh on himself.” “As a group, we are quite critical of our own performance. We’ll do what we can to rectify it because the way we feel right now is no fun at all.”
No one is blaming Tom Brady, receiver Mike Evans said. “They’re working as a unit. It’s a game played by teams. The pinnacle of cooperative activity. Certainly not a solitary actor. To this day, it is not.”
Brady then addressed the crowd.
I don’t think the events of the past eight weeks can be forgotten, he said. “We need to look inward, figure out who we are, identify our strengths and weaknesses, and put in the effort to get better so that we can increase our chances of success.”
Having already retired for 40 days this offseason at age 45 and in the final year of his contract with the Buccaneers, this season may be his last in the NFL. His teammates know this to be true, and it’s one of the reasons why the Bucs’ losing streak in 2022 has been so devastating.
Wirfs wished for Long to play for as long as possible. “I wish I could keep playing with him indefinitely. Tom is one of my favorite people. If this is indeed his final year, or whatever, I hope it is the best one imaginable. We’re just trying to have some fun, but it’s annoying when things don’t go as planned and there’s no obvious solution.”
In addition, Evans said “The best at what he does has never been seen before. In other words, defeat is something he cannot stand. All he cares about is winning, and being 3-5 isn’t good enough for him, so we need to start winning again soon.”
They have struggled all year to score goals. They took a 10-3 lead after the first quarter thanks to a touchdown run of only 1 yard on their opening drive (their first such drive TD all season). It wasn’t until 53 seconds remained on the clock that Brady connected with Julio Jones on an 8-yard touchdown pass. As Jones, a key member of their offense has missed the last three games with a knee injury, this is the first score of the season for the duo.
Brady has thrown for an NFL-high 2,267 yards this season with nine touchdowns and an interception, but his QBR of 49.5 places him only 18th in the league. (Brady was 26 of 44 passing for 325 yards and one touchdown against the Ravens.)
The defense fell apart in the second half as a star outside linebacker Shaq Barrett left with an Achilles injury, which ESPN reports the team is worried would terminate his season. After that, the Bucs gave up three touchdowns and the offense stalled.
According to linebacker Lavonte David, “it’s absolutely challenging” to lose games with Brady. “Just the accolades and awards he’d accumulated over the years. He’s a tough guy because he’s a tough man, a tough football player, and a tough leader. He’s experiencing the whole range of human emotions. We’ve got the personnel to make a turnaround, so we need to at least attempt. However, it must have a source.”
There is a long weekend ahead for the Bucs, so coach Todd Bowles has said the squad will use the time to recuperate and consider making adjustments.
Bowles has promised that all topics would be discussed this weekend. “When you are not performing well, we will discuss everything as a staff and there will be no secrets.”
Keep following venturejolt.com for more updates. Don’t forget to bookmark our site for the latest sports updates.