TAMPA, Fla. – The Bucs are solely focused on the Dallas Cowboys and not any of the off-the-field rumors and reports concerning Tom Brady.
There have been rumors and speculation that Brady and his wife are not on the same page with regard to his returning to play in his 23rd NFL season. Bucs running back Leonard Fournette says whatever the reason Brady left training camp for 11 days certainly hasn’t affected his on-the-field play.
“He’s him, just like when I first met him,” Fournette said. He’s chill, just like a regular old guy who came back. That’s him. He comes prepared to work and play and when he gets in that mood, he gets in that mood. So He’ll be ready.”
Brady and the Bucs open the regular season Sunday night in Dallas. Last season in the opener against the Cowboys, Brady was 32 for 50, 379 yards, and four touchdowns in the air with two interceptions.
Bucs head coach Todd Bowles says he doesn’t pay attention to any of the Brady rumors and that Brady is as focused as ever.
“He’s been all-in since we got him,” Bowles said. “He’s all-in now. I don’t follow the off-the-field stuff. I listen to XM The Groove and Soul Town. My off-the-field activities are honestly not even football-related.”
The matchup Sunday night is being billed as Brady vs Cowboys QB Dak Prescott. Prescott knows it’s not a QB vs QB thing but he is going to welcome the opportunity to play in prime time opposite one of the greatest players in the game.
“It’s awesome,” Prescott said. Pressure is a privilege. Embrace it.”
Founrette thinks football fans should know that players aren’t robots. They have feelings and family problems all the time, including Brady.
“We all go through our challenges, situations,” Founrette said. “Football is just a minor, minor part in some of our lives. So I don’t know what happened in Tom’s situation, but if your mentals are not right in this game it’s going to be a long season.”
Brady led the Bucs to a franchise-best 13 regular season wins in 2021 throwing for 5, 316 yards and 43 touchdowns.
Bucs and Cowboys kickoff Sunday night at 8:20.