Last year was a big adjustment for Tom Brady. After spending 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, he left in free agency to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leading that franchise to a surprising Super Bowl victory.
The run was made all the more impressive by the adversity that Brady, or any player joining a new team last year, faced. He had to learn Bruce Arians system, without a traditional offseason program due to COVID-19. His progress became very evident by the end of the year, and in the postseason.
He also had to learn the tendencies of an entire new roster of offensive teammates. Much of that came with the talented group of Buccaneers receivers that he inherited, but being in sync with your offensive line is also crucial for a quarterback.
According to Tristan Wirfs, the No. 13 pick by the Bucs in the 2020 NFL Draft, Brady made sure to give him a key piece of advice last year: “don’t get beat fast, and don’t get beat inside.”
Second-year T Tristan Wirfs says Tom Brady had some specific direction for him last year: "Don't get beat fast and don't get beat inside. I held on to that tightly last year."
— Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) June 8, 2021
Tom Brady is as good at maneuvering a pocket as any quarterback in the NFL, even as one of the less athletic players at the position, but inside pressure will ruin anyone’s plans. Luckily, Wirfs established himself as one of the NFL’s brightest young offensive linemen as a rookie.
He played 100-percent of the team’s offensive snaps at right tackle last year, earning Pro Football Focus 2nd Team All-Pro honors, as well as the PFWA’s All-Rookie Team.
Tristan Wirfs this season:
🔸 799 pass-blocking snaps
🔸 1 sack allowed pic.twitter.com/i9Y0zgOw4I
— PFF (@PFF) February 8, 2021
With virtually the entire roster intact, and a fairly normal offseason program ahead of them, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look like a real contender to repeat as Super Bowl champs this year, though that is always a very tough task for any team.