TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicked off their three-day mandatory minicamp Tuesday morning, marking the first time the entire team took the field together under new head coach Todd Bowles.
Quarterback Tom Brady, who did not attend the voluntary practices, sprinted on the field for his first day of camp.
“He hasn’t lost a step. He is who he is,” Bucs’ running back Leonard Fournette said.
Brady’s footwork looked pristine, and his throws were on the money. It’s that level of execution that has defined his career. He didn’t seem like a player that sat on the couch during his 40-day retirement.
“He trains all the time,” Bowles said. “You’re not expecting him to come back out of shape. He came back in shape, his arm looks good. He feels good. Just getting back in the swing of things with the guys.”
Even on the first day of minicamp, center Ryan Jensen said, with Brady, it didn’t feel like it.
“Besides Tom as the player, that’s what he does,” Jensen said. “He expects perfection at all times. Granted it's Day 1 of the minicamp. When he comes back, it’s like that expectation has never changed. It was good. It made practice feel more competitive. The pace was unreal. It was fast-paced today.”
Wide receiver Chris Godwin is still recovering from an ACL injury and tight end Rob Gronkowski has not formally re-signed with the team, so Brady has some news targets, like Justin Gage, to throw to during minicamp.
“You definitely have to earn his trust,” Fournette said. “It might take the whole season to be honest. You never know when your number is called. Those guys are doing a great job. Of course, we have Chris not playing right now. They have to step up."