Tom Brady has had a transformative effect on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offense this season.
But the Bucs’ defense has benefited from the 43-year-old quarterback’s presence, as well, as defensive coordinator Todd Bowles explained Monday during a Super Bowl LV week media session.
“Just really, from a performance standpoint, when (defensive players) see how hard he works and everything he does as diligent as he does it, nobody wants to let anybody down, so those guys work harder from that standpoint,” Bowles said in a video conference.
“And you don?t want to get embarrassed at practice having Brady pick on you every day, so you?d better pick your game up. I think a lot of that part has carried over to the defense and made them more accountable.”
Tampa Bay’s defense played a key role in getting Brady to his 10th Super Bowl. The Buccaneers forced four turnovers in a divisional-round win over the New Orleans Saints and two more in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers.
In the latter, edge rushers Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett teamed up to sack Aaron Rodgers five times, and the Bucs forced three-and-outs after two of Brady’s three second-half interceptions, holding off a late-game Green Bay comeback.
This Sunday, Bowles’ troops will be tasked with slowing down Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs’ high-powered offense.