Big Tom Brady Start More Important Than Wins?

June 19th, 2022

A reasoned, seasoned and respected analyst seems to believe the Buccaneers collectively may have a fragile psyche.

It’s hard for Joe to disagree. That’s no slam on anyone, but it is a nod to how players could react to the loss of Bucco Bruce Arians combined with Tom Brady’s play taking any noticeable step backwards early this season.

Former NFL safety Louis Riddick, who spent 13 years in the front offices of the Redskins and Eagles before jumping into broadcasting, thinks the Bucs need a fast start from Brady more than the team needs to go 3-1 against its opening four opponents (Cowboys, Saints Packers and Chiefs.)

Speaking during NFL Live on ESPN TV, Riddick made the case that there could be a collective and significant loss of Bucs confidence if Brady’s footwork looks a little slow or his accuracy is a notch off in the first four games.

And Riddick added that any early struggles would have the team looking at head coach Todd Bowles differently and wondering whether the transition from Arians was as smooth as it appeared this spring.

Of course, a fast start is critical to any team, but Riddick said “the psychological component” for the 2022 Bucs makes a strong start especially important.

He said any Brady faltering likely would have a trickle-down effect on the roster when it comes to confidence.

It’s interesting chatter from Riddick, but Joe doesn’t think it breaks any ground. The local and national noise would be thunderous if Brady has a slower start. The sharks would be in the water — even if the Bucs win games — and Brady’s teammates would be bombarded with questions about their 45 year old quarterback.

24 Responses to “Big Tom Brady Start More Important Than Wins?”

  1. SB Says:

    Is it September yet???

  2. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Well Louis lets just throw crap at the, and see what sticks.

    Whatever, this team will be fine.

    All the stuff brought up concerning TB12 for his career, and it still = 7 Lombardis, and maybe the 8th one this year.

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  3. Cobraboy Says:


    I don’t think this team is mentally weak.

    At all.

  4. alton d green Says:

    somebody has run out of things to write about. If you’ve been paying attention it’s not uncommon for Tom to start slow. Guess you’ve forgotten the 9-7 record and the winning the SB. I would hate to think that the Bucs players are so thin skinned that they would fall apart if Tommy Boy starts slow. Have y’all ever said to a woman “you look good…….for your age. Well I wouldn’t start now hahahaha
    You’ll find Max Kellerman on ESPN

  5. Tampabaybucfsn Says:

    The last time Brady had a slow start was Pop Warner

  6. GOB Says:

    I love Louis Riddick, but he couldn’t be more off base. I expect the bucs to struggle a bit early on. It’s a different team, a different year, a different schedule. Once they run the gauntlet those first 4 weeks, they’ll know what works, what doesn’t, and adjust. I can already hear the BA sycophants, clamoring after a slow start. BA had little to do with the operation, and he won’t be missed.

    GOB predicts this team is going to impose it’s will on the LOS. Many here think Brady needs to be otherworldly to win a Superbowl. He doesn’t need 5500 yards and 50 TDs for this team to win.

  7. GOB Says:

    If they start slow, so much the better.

  8. dmatt Says:

    This is it!
    All hands on deck will give Father Tom the grand finale as a gesture of thanks for giving us another super bowl. The Bucs offense n defense will fight n defend Tom till the end, despite the critics aimless point of view. Tom will come outta the blocks on fire from start to finish.Tom will literally set the record straight to favor him this year, Aaron Rodgers! Let’s go Bucs!

  9. SOEbuc Says:

    Brady slowing up? Brady and Leftwich have already grinded their teeth away for a Super Bowl, so I don’t see anyone getting slower at anything. If anything I think the defense is gonna is explode if we stay relatively healthy. Hicks and Hall bring getting to the QB on the DL. DBs are very deep and versatile. Bowles is the HC of the defense, while Leftwich and Brady handle all the offense. Move faster time.

  10. Goatfarmer Says:


    2-2 or better and no one will ponder wether the Bucs are weak mentally or otherwise

  11. David Says:

    Everyone must remember the Bucs were 7–5 during the Super Bowl run.
    If they start a little slow and slightly shaky but still go at least 2-2, they will be fine.
    His entire career he has focused on peeking into the playoffs. He’s had plenty of slow starts only to finish real strong.
    1st 4-

    I think the key is the Defense getting off to a good start with a decent pass rush and being consistent. It would be great for their confidence level.
    That’s more important than Brady & the O. With Brady at the helm, I think the O will just get better and better throughout the year.

  12. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Brady is the most scrutinized athlete in sports. I would also add Lebron to that mix. People have been praying for Tom’s downfall for years. Every single one of his throws is dissected. If he throws a pick, the mob will pounce. Tom’s not allowed to have a bad game. For example, when he threw a pick 6 on an out route against the Chargers, the whole media declared Brady dead and washed. Aaron Rodgers threw two picks against us. And one was on an out route. If you’re late on those throws, it doesn’t matter what kind of arm talent you have, there’s a chance of a pick. Rodgers is the most talented thrower of the football, and even he throws some bad picks. Rodgers also didn’t get nearly the vitriol Tom got for a similar mistake. The Packers got rolled by the Saints last year and the national media largely gave him a pass. Tom not so much. Shannon Sharpe was largely silent when Rodgers struggled. Brady had a record year last season. I don’t expect a repeat, and I’m actually hoping we don’t have our 45 yr old QB throwing 50x a game. If Brady can continue to make those deep outs that’s installed in the offense, I think we’ll be fine. We play four good defenses to start and if Tom starts off slowly, the pitchforks will be out.

    As far as Tom’s teammates being discouraged if he starts off slow, that’s the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. They see Brady everyday in practice. If they thought it was some major issue with Brady, why bother even taking the field? And his receivers would have never been as overjoyed that Tom was back if they thought he was washed. Brady is also has a football IQ. What he may lose in physical attributes. He makes up for it with his brain.

  13. GOB Says:

    David is right. Plenty of times (not always) Belichick used the first month as an extended pre-season. It’s about finding out what works, what doesn’t, and adjusting. Brady isn’t unfamiliar with slow starts, and strong finishes. They might not be the high flying offense we saw last year. That’s okay, just win

  14. ModHairKen Says:

    The new Defense will be stifling. 4-0.

  15. sasquatch Says:

    Another pointless hot take. Sells product. Nothing more.

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    This Bucs team may be a lot of things, but ‘mentally weak’ isn’t one of them. They all know very well how to deal with the schedule one game at a time. We’re playing 4 teams early-on who are all tough. It is what it is.

    I for one think this is a brutal schedule this season. The Bucs have at least FIVE night games & one international game (the final game is TBD); historically we haven’t fared well in those situations. We play 2 games out West (San Fran & Arizona); those haven’t been very kind to us either. We play 10 games against teams who had winning records last season, and 8 of those made the playoffs last year. That’s a challenge.

    On the good news side though, only 5 games will be against teams that had Top-10 defenses last year, presumably giving our (#2-ranked) offense an advantage. And for more good news, only 5 games will be against teams that had a Top-10 ranked offense last year, presumably giving our (#5-ranked) defense an advantage.

    Yet every year is different, and it’s still one game at a time. These guys know full well what’s at stake & what it takes to win the prize. We’re a solid team, but we do have a weakness IMO: depth, particularly on defense. Our injury situations from game-to-game may very well dictate this season’s outcome.

  17. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Short memories, 7-5 2020.

  18. Hodad Says:

    Insert any NFL Q.B.’s name to this article, and the same would be true. What if Dak comes out slow, or Jameis throws a pick six to lose his first game? Wentz sure has something to prove in D.C., the 49ers need Trey Lance to be the real deal. So every Q.B. in the league it would seem needs to come out hot, or their team will lose confedence?

  19. Bucs Win Says:

    Even if Brady were to fall off 25% (which there’s zero evidence he will) he’d still be better than all but about 3 dudes in the league, not a concern.

  20. Dooley Says:

    Just thinking back on the Dallas staff playing Micah Parsons out of position at MLB all of week 1 last season, makes me to believe that having the lineup we’ve got in our first 4 games could turn out being a blessing in disguise considering these teams can all be tougher wins in late OCT/Early-Mid Nov. You can look at each opponents, how they’ve changed this offseason, and the questions they’ll be trying to answer as the regular season starts. Also, all for of the teams we start off with are 2021 good, doesn’t mean they wont have their own roster questions they’ll be looking to answer by time they play us

  21. Craig Says:

    If the team, as a whole, can take better advantage of turnovers by our defense, they will be fine.

    Brady is a fine QB, but football is a team sport.

    The team will be better prepared than the first three they play, so a huge start isn’t really necessary.

  22. Cobraboy Says:

    I am far more concerned how Brady finishes the season, than hiow he starts.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Ugh. Shut up. Yes they def. Need to start fast with this schedule. Not worried about Brady of this seasoned squad

  24. BillyBucco Says:

    Brady starts slow all the time.
    Just look at his 1st quarter stats in Super Bowls.

    Other teams do their research, but he ALWAYS finds a way.
    That’s why our defense has to bridge the gap.

    If, Brady starts to struggle, the TEAM will pick HIM up for a change.
    I’m not worried at all about the schedule.

    The Bucs aren’t the Hunted anymore, The Rams are.