There’s been some doubt lingering about Tom Brady’s commitment to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the regular season even gets started.
But former longtime teammate Julian Edelman isn’t concerned one bit about the 45-year-old quarterback’s focus level as he enters his 23rd NFL season. Edelman believes the Buccaneers shouldn’t be worried about it, either, and instead thinks they should pay attention to how they are going to protect Brady in the pocket.
“That’s not the thing they should be worrying about,” Edelman told reporters during a video conference Tuesday, per The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin. “They should be worrying about those three interior offensive linemen.”
The Buccaneers have a new-look offensive line in front of Brady after losing their center and two guards from last year’s squad to injury, retirement and free agency. Tampa Bay will now rely on 2022 second-round pick Luke Goedeke to start at left guard while Robert Hainsey prepares to make his NFL debut at center after playing at the tackle spot, per John Romano of The Tampa Bay Times.
Edelman is right. Having an inexperienced offensive line trying to keep Brady upright should cause some trepidation, and be the team’s main focus. Brady can mitigate some of the offensive line issues with his ultra-quick release, but as it was during Brady’s tenure with the New England Patriots, getting consistent pressure on Brady, especially up the middle, is the blueprint to beating him.
And if the Buccaneers can’t protect Brady, they could have a lot more worries on their hands.