Hunkered Down, Fired Up & Ready To Learn

March 25th, 2020

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BY IRA KAUFMAN

One of the key Bucs assigned to shield Tom Brady from harm can’t wait to get started in Tampa Bay’s new protection racket.

Left guard Ali Marpet, still awaiting a playoff berth after five NFL seasons, is staying safe in St. Petersburg with his family. When this pandemic passes, Marpet and his teammates on Tampa Bay’s offensive line will get down to the business of keeping Brady upright this fall.

“I am hunkered down and I am fired up,” he said. “Everyone I’ve talked to is very excited. Obviously from a preparation standpoint, he’s going to be able to help us all. He’ll help a lot of guys learn how to prepare to succeed.”

Bucs guard Ali Marpet chatted with The Sage.

Brady’s 45 game-winning drives rank fourth in NFL annals, nine less than all-time leader Peyton Manning. Among those comebacks was a historic Super Bowl rally from a 28-3 deficit against the Falcons.

“I would say it’s Brady’s confidence that jumps out,” Marpet said. “It always appears that he’s confident his team is going to end up winning the game. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 2-minute drive, whatever it is. He’s had such success and there’s a confidence you’ll end up winning the game no matter what. I think guys here will be able to pick up on that.”

One of Brady’s many strengths is his knack for getting the ball out quickly. That allows him to take fewer hits and for a quarterback who turns 43 in August, the physical grind of the position is a concern.

“He prepares the right way and there’s so much experience involved,” said Marpet. “Because of that, he’s able to play at a faster rate than anyone else.”

Since Marpet and Jameis Winston were selected in the 2015 draft, the Bucs have won only 32 of 80 games. The franchise’s playoff drought has reached 12 years and here comes Brady, accompanied by an unparalleled level of success.

“I’d say that bringing in Tom Brady definitely feels as if there will be some positive changes — and I think that will translate to winning,” Marpet said.

While Marpet is eager to work with a first-ballot Hall of Famer, his thoughts often shift to another man under center. More than a week into free agency, Winston is still seeking a new home.

A bittersweet time to be a Buccaneer, says Ali Marpet.

You don’t spend five years together in the trenches without developing a close bond.

Marpet and Winston have fought the good fight, and now they go their separate ways.

“For me, this whole experience has been kind of bittersweet just because of the respect I have for Jameis as a person and as a player,” Marpet said. “We came in together and we wanted to have a lot more success than we ended up having. I do wish him nothing but the best and hope he gets a starting job somewhere because he deserves to be a starter in the NFL. In that respect, there’s definitely an aspect of all this that is bittersweet for me.”

Although Marpet is basically sequestered, he is aware of Bradymania sweeping the Bay Area.

How can he not be? Ticket sales are soaring and the manufacture of Brady jerseys is in overdrive.

The new face of the franchise is an ex-Patriot and Marpet has no qualms about offering a salute.

“It’s all through social media now, that’s how people are showing their excitement,” he said. “It seems like the fan base is fired up, along with the coaching staff. Everyone is really excited. It’s hard not to be when you have a generational player like Tom Brady coming down here.”

Amid the euphoria, a national health emergency threatens to reduce the practice opportunities at One Buc Place for Brady and his new teammates.

“There are people that have it a lot worse than us,” Marpet said, “but there is uncertainty in terms of when we’ll be able to start back up. Right now, it’s unclear.”

What’s crystal clear is Tampa Bay’s win-now philosophy. And who better to lead the quest than a man with 219 career wins, 33 more than any other quarterback in the league’s 100-year history?

Ira with his good friend Sean Sullivan, general manager of Bill Currie Ford, Tampa’s first family of Ford. Sean will help you personally in any way he can. It’s the Bill Currie way.

18 Responses to “Hunkered Down, Fired Up & Ready To Learn”

  1. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    Will be proud to have Brady’s Picture on RayJay.

    Unlike someone else, who’s picture couldn’t be shown.

  2. WestChap Says:

    We need a new manbeast on the OL too… I had high hopes for Jensen but he seems to lose control of his aggression a bit too much. Marpet is great in the trenches (talented, no quit) but we need a leader on that line with a more aggressive attitude. A Donovan for Williams trade is probably too much to ask for but what a difference that and a new first round OT would make!

  3. Steven007 Says:

    Suh just signed on a one-year deal! Whew…

  4. Steven007 Says:

    *expected to sign. Hasn’t put pen to paper yet according to sources

  5. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    1 year/$8M for Suh. Wasn’t aware he had signed it yet though. He wanted to come back to play for Todd Bowles

  6. PigskinPlaya Says:

    Yeahhh…Suh back for one year $8 million! Wise move again, and we got a small discount over last year’s $9.25 million salary, PLUS…his physical is already in our file. No snags there.

    Definitely OT in round 1 if any of too 4 are there, or trade back for RB.

  7. '79 Defense Says:

    I didn’t know Brady had 33 more wins than the next closest QB. That’s impressive.

    Favre and Manning have 186. Brees is at 163.

  8. BigMacAttack Says:

    I have to give Licht props right now. I’ve called him every name in the book 😂. He’s making good moves right now. Need to get Godwin a long term deal though and slay the draft. If he can get 1 star and 2 strong players in the draft, that’s a win. Really need that running back now more than ever. I’m still a Delpit fan, if he’s there I’d take him. Those tackling knocks are hogwash. OT and RB.

  9. Bucs Guy Says:

    Big 4 OT in the first. If they’re gone, trade back and pick Josh Jones (#5 OT). With an extra 2nd rd pick you could go DT and OG/C in the 2nd, S in the 3rd, RB and WR in the 4th. Don’t take an RB early!!

  10. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Westchap, you’re a year late on the Jensen analysis, he solved that over aggression thing last year.

  11. BuucccNASTY Says:

    Soooo. With 10 people max in a group, would 1 OL Coach, 5 OLinemen, and 4 DLinemen be permitted for a closed off practice??? lol
    lets get this chemistry budding my Hogs! We gotta protect Brady

  12. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I did not know Ali lived in St Pete. Glad to have him. He’s a class act.

  13. Dangeruss Says:

    Buying my season tickets again for the first time in five years! My patriots gear in the closet I am going to buy that Brady TB12 jersey as soon as it’s available! As a native of Tampa Bay I couldn’t be more excited. There’s so much to Tom Brady that beyond just football. He is inspirational, he is a good husband, a great father, and a super person. It’s gonna be fun Tampa Bay. Buckle up because Tom Brady don’t know the word quit. Jose, now the Tampa Bay Bucs Have Americas quarterback.

  14. WestChap Says:

    Christopher, fair enough on Jensen getting fewer flags this year but I still saw more shoving and yapping than the kind of physical domination I was expecting when he was signed.

  15. $acbuc$ Says:

    Whats with the safety talk for the draft. I haven’t heard any of you joes talk about how many tackles for lost Whitehead has in 2 years. His run play recognition is off the charts. Y’all non talented talent evaluators always judging wrong. That’s Revis lil cousin and he got the football smarts. Get Tony Jefferson!

    Andrew Adams did a exceptional job last year. Once he got in the line up we forgot we drafted Mike Edwards and picked up Stewart from free agency. Andrew didn’t wanna get drug by Ingram no more so he came in prepared.

    Let talk about how Jensen didn’t get one unsportsmanlike penalty or how him and Jameis didn’t drop to many center to quarterback hand offs. How Minter came in for Devin and the Defense didn’t miss a beat. How good the receivers played when MIke and chris went down. How Cam Brate is a pros pro. He never complains even when he’s having a great year and you draft his replacement OJ. Let’s talk about how Carlton Davis shut down D Hop or why it took so long to put Jamel Dean in the New Orleans game. Jason Licht is 100 times better then Mark Dominic so lay off him. Y’all must of forgot the dumbest signings and free agency moves in history under that character.

  16. $acbuc$ Says:

    JW was Josh Freeman 2.0. This almost feel like when we got Jeff Garcia lol I’m kidding. All we needed was a passer who can hit a dam receiver in stride. Ball placement and we would of been in the playoffs. First time Winston hit Mike E in stride he was so surprised he blew a hammy. Tom will throw his receivers open something Winston has not accomplished in 5 years. So who cares about throwing for 5000 yards if your ball placement is terrible and you can’t throw your receivers open. Them attributes got V.Jack and Cecil Shorts Knees blew up. Them slow decision and long whined up got Adam Hump and Cam Brate concussed ever year. So No more Yelling at IRA about that bum.

  17. $acbuc$ Says:

    Mike Evans should be a happy camper. You might get to see that he is top 3. With the like of Winston and no football Johnny Manziel throwing to him his whole football career. That was a 12 Gauge Shot Joey(shots fired)! The whole team is about to look better if there even is a season to get excited about. Jus that Buc luck huh. We get the GOAT and the world is in shambles!

  18. $acbuc$ Says:

    You didn’t like that Joey comment or the no more yelling at HIRA!

 

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