Bruce Arians is itching to get back to work.

Still, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach can find comfort in knowing his quarterback, Tom Brady, already is striving to get on the same page as his new teammates amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Brady has organized at least one informal (and permitted) workout since joining the Bucs, recently meeting up with some teammates at a Tampa Bay prep school. The gathering obviously caught the attention of Arians, who explained Thursday during a Zoom conference with reporters that such efforts could go a long way toward building chemistry on and off the field.

“I love it. It’s exactly what he is and who he is,” Arians said. “It’s a great interaction of those guys helping him learn what we do through the Zoom meetings and then taking it out on the field. It’s great team building for what we can do at these times. I applaud him for starting it, and more and more guys are joining in.

“The Zoom meetings are one thing, but man, we’re missing 400 reps. Our rookies usually get 400 reps by now, and they haven’t gotten any. So I don’t know how we’re going to make that up, but we’re gonna have to.”

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The Bucs haven’t made the playoffs since the 2007 season and are coming off a 2019 campaign in which they went 7-9. Yet signing Brady, who won six Super Bowl titles over 20 years with the New England Patriots, has elevated expectations in Tampa Bay, to the point where Arians’ team is firmly entrenched in the championship conversation.

“We embrace it,” Arians said. “That’s the first goal every year. When we put up our goals and start talking as a team, it’s to put rings on your fingers and hoist the Lombardi Trophy. And then you put it to bed. And then you start, as we say, respecting the process of coming to work every day and not looking ahead. And as long as we’re doing what we do every day to the best of our abilities, we can attain those goals.”

While it’s unclear just how much COVID-19 will impact the 2020 NFL season, it’s abundantly clear that Brady’s arrival has completely changed the way Tampa Bay is viewed across the league.

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