Tom Brady Says Next Six Weeks Are Critical For Russell Gage

June 9th, 2022

The man stepping in to try and fill the shoes of Chris Godwin is very much on the mind of Tom Brady.

The Tampa Bay offense is the engine that drives the team, so Joe certainly had to ask Brady today about newcomer wide receiver Russell Gage. Unfortunately, Gage has not been practicing because he has an undisclosed injury.

Yeah, Gage has been catching balls on the practice sidelines and in meetings, but he’s not been working much more on the field.

Now comes the Buccaneers’ six-week summer break and, per Brady, it seems like Gage is entering a critical period. What has to happen for Russell Gage to be ready to go Day 1? We know you put in a lot of work in advance when you got here in 2020 with receivers in April.

Tom Brady: A lot of work. A lot of work. He has to have a good year. You know, we signed him to a contract and he’s got to come in and do a great job. And the time I’ve spent with him, you know, I really enjoy it and I think he’s got a great opportunity. That is a very important role for an offense that throws the ball as much as we do. We have favorable passing condititions. You know, you need a lot of good receivers.

Joe was really intrigued by Brady’s passion answering this question. It’s not often that anyone would hear Brady — in June — say a guy “has to have a good year.”

Also, it sounds like Brady was sending a message to all his receivers not named Evans and Godwin; make the most out of the next six weeks before training camp begins.

16 Responses to “Tom Brady Says Next Six Weeks Are Critical For Russell Gage”

  1. Bucsfan13 Says:

    What does favorable passing conditions mean exactly? And maybe we shouldn’t throw the ball as much as we do. Does he really think that it’s prudent for a man his age to lead the league in pass attempts? That answer from him makes me nervous. The uncertainty of Godwin and Gage, and the lack of quality depth at the WR position are worrying to me.

    Our offensive line is also a question mark with the loss of Marpet. I’m not sold on Stinnie or the other possible cast of replacements. I read that they were an absolute sieve the last practice. So Brady is gonna continue to drop back at the same rate with an inferior line than he had last year. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. I hope Bowles steps in and saves this offense from themselves. Forget about those silly Dolphins rumors, I’m more concerned about what I’m hearing from Leftwich and Brady about the offense and what I saw at this week’s underwear practice. We had a bunch of dwarf receivers making plays without the possibility of being hit. Color me unimpressed

  2. Cobraboy Says:

    So much for a vaycay for receivers.

  3. Bucsfan13 Says:

    I agree with Joe. His answer to the Gage question was interesting. It tells me that he knows Godwin will be out longer than expected. Brady suffered a similar injury in 2008. And it also tells me that he doesn’t think too highly about our WR depth after minicamp. I’m very nervous about our pass game, and the fact that Fournette showed up looking like Eddie Lacy after signing a big extension worries me in the run game. Hopefully Brady shamed him into getting in shape when he saw him at minicamp. Brady has no filter. I wouldn’t be surprised if he called him a tub of lard lol

  4. Listnfrmafar Says:

    “We signed him”, interesting comment.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Brady basically is saying Gage better earn his money. That’s harsh. What’s with this mystery injury of his. Something is off with this team. Reports were that Brady started off minicamp fiery. He commented earlier in an article that the team needed to make “ a lot of corrections.” And yesterday on his IG stories, he posted about the team not making excuses.

  6. PassingThru Says:

    In a nutshell, Gage has to make the jump from being a good WR3 to being a key WR2, all the while transitioning to a new QB in a new system. Brady is definitely displeased with the injury situation, I would imagine he senses that they’re losing much-needed time for Gage to learn the playbook and develop chemistry with Tommy.

    I sense some impatience, something that I felt during his final season in New England. There’s no Gronk, and the comment that Brady made about Gronk today sounded like he’s convinced that Gronk is really on the fence. I can see why, without Gage or Gronk, you have no dedicated, quality option in the slot. Sure you could play Evans there from some snaps, but then your outside receivers are unproven or limited, take your pick.

    Gage is going to have to get some practice time in with Brady soon, even if it means working out with him on his own time within the next 5 or so weeks.

  7. geno711 Says:

    I am really ok with the Bucs leading the league in passing. The best teams are the most effective passing teams. Lots of ways to win in the NFL but our best chance to win seems to me to be by being an elite passing team.

    Brady has barely been sacked these last two years and I really do not remember a lot of big hits. He wants to throw it and the Bucs want to throw. I don’t mind running the ball in the 4th quarter if we are up three scores but the best way to have long drives and get first downs are through the air — NOT THE GROUND (look at the stats for all teams).

    If you want a 9-8 record than run the ball 45% of the time. And then start gripping about how our run plays are too predictable.

  8. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @Geno. If you think it’s prudent that a 45 yr old QB should lead the league in passing attempts, you’re wrong. And running the ball more means running more efficiently. It means fewer off tackle runs on first down, which became predictable. It means more sweeps to the left side where we now have Shaq Mason. Mason is one of the best run blocking guards in the league. We shouldn’t abandon the run so quickly. Having more ball control also helps our defense. We’ve had too many three and outs where we didn’t even attempt to run the ball. It left our defense gassed. I’m hoping Bowles does direct the offense to be more patient in the run game. Our offense needs to help our defense!! I know some people dislike the idea of Bowles being more involved in the offense. I actually welcome his input this year.

  9. Pewter Power Says:

    So dramatic…. At one time all Bucs receivers were new to Brady as well. If he’s injured there’s nothing to be done except wait, he has more than enough time to get up to speed, perriman did it in season

  10. geno711 Says:

    Bucsfan13 Says:
    June 9th, 2022 at 5:26 pm

    Well, if by “prudent” you mean caring about Brady’s health in 2023-2029 over 2022, I don’t want to be prudent. I care about 2022.

    Tampa Bay’s receiving corps at some point will have Mike Evans and Chris Godwin which might be the best 1 – 2 in the league. Then we added Russell Gage.

    Gage is a huge get and makes a lot of sense for our offense next to Evans and Godwin. He will be a solid possession receiver for Brady who can work the middle of the field from slot or wide alignments. Saw something that Gage’s route running was 19th best among all receivers last year. Again, a fit for Brady.

    Then we get Gronk back, still have Brate, and I actually think Otton can be a receiving TE in his 1st season. Fournette can catch the ball out of the backfield that works like a long hand off and it seems like rookie running back White excels catching the ball.

    Why not be a pass first team?

    As I stated earlier, I disagree with any assertion that we will be more effective as a running team over a passing team.

    We can agree to disagree though. As you have stated on this thread, you think passing the ball will be a recipe for disaster.

    I think it will be a recipe for success.

    P.S. I’d like to see the number of left sided sweeps Shaq Mason was involved in last year and his somehow graded success. Lombardi used to say that the tackle was more important on the success of the sweep than the guards but what the heck did he know.

  11. Thadeus Says:

    I warned you, should have got Something for Godwin in a trade.
    Bucs will go 10-7 this year and Maybe a wildcard.

  12. PassingThru Says:

    I think a few of you get it. This isn’t a good situation.

    Evans is versatile, he can line up either on the outside or in the slot, but he’s really better on the outside. Two guys who did well in the slot (AB, Godwin) are either gone or out for at least midseason, perhaps much later. This team floundered on offense last season once those two were gone… and bear in mind Gronk was on the field.

    From Brady’s point of view, he might only have Evans and not much else for those first four games of the season. For those fans with short memories, try to remember the poor chemistry two seasons ago during the opener, when Brady struggled with a set of new receivers.

  13. MadMax Says:

    Im telling you….its time to talk AB into coming back. I know its unpopular, and probably not gonna happen, but I think if both sides swallow pride and say lets do this, we have another chance at another SB, then we can get him….nobody else will sign him, so why not?

    He’ll be affordable, the rep with Brady is there…and yes i know, the crazy is there.

  14. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @PassingThru. Totally agree. Some fans are in total denial about our situation at the WR position. I would include Geno as one. No offense. They don’t get that this is a QB-WR driven offense. This offense is predicated on having talent at the position. We don’t scheme people open, so if we don’t have the goods at the position we fall apart. It’s a flawed system. That’s why I say we need to diversify some aspects of our offense. While Godwin is out, Mike will play the X, Gage would move to the slot or Z. What other reliable receiver do we have for the slot and Z position? Tyler Johnson has shown he’s not that guy. He can’t get separation to save his life. He would be helped greatly if Leftwich could find a way to scheme him open. Don’t bet on that

    @Geno. You should care about how often Brady drops as back. You don’t think he could get hurt this year? Forget about his post Bucs life. The offensive line is also not as good in pass pro this year with Marpet missing. Most would agree that over 700 pass attempts are far too much for any QB let alone an old one. My point isn’t that we should become a run first team. My point is that we don’t have to pass as much to be successful. Passing and totally eliminating the run really worked against the Saints and Rams, huh? Brate even agreed that the offense lacked balance. I would’ve liked Brady to be asked about this lack of balance instead of the latest gossip at One Buc Place.

  15. AtticusFlinch Says:

    Bucsfan13 says: What does favorable passing conditions mean exactly?

    I think Brady was being typically Brady cryptic.

    I don’t think that this was a hint that the Bucs’ will be passing more in 2022 or even as much as last season. I believe that Brady knows that with his much loved and missed PA scheme being firmly and effectively in place and set up with a completely new 1-2 back running game (with pulling OGs and TEs in motion to run block behind Wirfs and Shaq Mason), that there will be greater opportunities for receivers resulting from the increased separation afforded by a well-run PA. LBs and DBs will now lose a step or two to avoid getting gashed by a new, bruising run game which Brady always wanted and which BA always muleheadedly vetoed.

  16. TampabayDJ82 Says:

    Favorable passing conditions means they are UNSTOPPABLE when clicking on all cylinders in the passing game ! He means that he’s the best QB in the NFL and he has 2 of the best WRs in the NFL and Lenny who is one of the best at what he does. But he’s saying that he and Evans and Godwin need more out of the rest of the WRs especially if GRONK doesn’t come back
    ( He will ) .. But everyone needs to be on the same page. Go Bucs