TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got off to a bit of a slow start last year. It wasn’t until halfway through the season the offense found its identity, then peaked in the postseason.
Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich says this offense is much further along in year two with quarterback Tom Brady.
“It’s not even close, to be honest with you,” Leftwich told reporters after Tuesday’s practice.
Last year, Brady was new to the team and still trying to get down the basics of the offense and terminology.
“It just took us time,” Leftwich said. “We didn’t have an opportunity to practice. We were trying to figure things out on Sundays.”
Tight end Rob Gronkowski was also in his first season with the Bucs last year. Gronkowski also peaked in Super Bowl LV catching a pair of touchdowns.
“It’s night and day coming from where I was last year in training camp to where I am now,” Gronkowski said “Just how much we are evolving with the playbook, knowing the plays, knowing where to be. Everything like that. It feels a lot better this year. It’s a tremendous improvement.”
The Bucs offense averaged nearly 31 points per game last year — good enough for second-best in the NFL.
Brady finished his first year under Leftwich by passing for 4,633 yards, 40 touchdowns. He added more than 1,000 yards passing and 10 touchdowns in the playoffs.
Despite those high numbers, it took some time for everyone to get comfortable.
“From day one, I just want to see it how (Brady) sees it,” Leftwich said. “We all know how good Tom is. We can’t call plays until you know him. You got to know him. It took some time for me to know him, to figure him out, to know what he’s going to do on paper, and to know what he’s going to do on the grass.”
Brady and the Bucs offense will get a full-speed look at another defense in practice this week. The Bucs will host the Tennessee Titans for a pair of joint practices on Wednesday and Thursday.