Relaxing The Key To Russell Gage Fitting Into Offense

August 1st, 2022

Bucs WR Russell Gage.

One thing about training camp, through the first four practices jumps out at Joe, albeit all underwear football practices.

The chemistry between quarterback Tom Brady and newcomer wide receiver Russell Gage appears smooth and sweet.

Now Gage didn’t have the best of days on Saturday. Neither did most of the offense, though Gage did hook up with Brady for solid throws and catches.

Joe didn’t expect this so soon. Gage and Brady had not participated in an organized team practice until last Wednesday. This was because Gage was dinged up and held out of mandatory minicamp.

At June minicamp, Joe asked Brady about getting on the same page as Gage and Brady admitted Gage needed to do a lot of work in the next six weeks. You sure couldn’t tell that from watching practice last week.

So Joe asked Gage about how he bonded with Brady on the practice fields so quickly.

“I give a lot of credit to Tom,” Gage said. “He gets us rolling, for real. He has gotten me acclimated to the offense. The transition has been smooth.

“A lot of film study, man. Like I said, a lot of credit to Tom. He settles guys down. I can already sense the vibe he is on. And we’re hitting the ground running.”

We all know Brady throwing to Mike Evans is money. But Brady and Gage seem to be on the very same level. Very cool to see. Very smooth. So Joe asked Gage to name things Brady may have said to him that smoothed his transition.

Gage said it boils down to a simple word: Chill.

“Well, for one, relax,” Gage said. “Calm down. He knows there is a lot of stuff going on. Just stuff like that coming from your quarterback and your leader helps you right there. A lot of the time when you are in the huddle, it’s nerves. You have a lot of nerves.

“You have a lot of things going through your head. And then since it is a new offense for me, there are a lot of things going through my head. When he says, ‘Hey, relax. Slow it down.’ That really helps me a lot.”

Joe guesses Brady knows this from experience. And it what Brady did with the Bucs two years ago all the more impressive, with no offseason due to The Sickness and ending with Brady hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy in the thick night air at The Licht House.

Gage is a receiver, an important piece of the puzzle but hardly the main cog. Brady is the main cog, the straw that stirs the drink. And he likely overcame nervousness, too, when he first came to the Bucs.

Hopefully, the ending of 2022 will be just like two seasons ago.

All kinds of great stuff in the weekend edition of the Ira Kaufman Podcast following 4 days of camp.

5 Responses to “Relaxing The Key To Russell Gage Fitting Into Offense”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Gage will likely take on many of the duties of AB…..if he can fill his shoes without the attitude…..we’ll be in great shape.

  2. lambeau Says:

    Brady loves quick, smart, precise slot receivers with good hands– so he will love Russell.

  3. PSL Bob Says:

    Every time I read a new piece about Brady, the more impressed I am. The dude can just bring out the best in everyone around him. Gage will be just fine!

  4. Buczilla Says:

    We’re never going to have another qb like Brady and we are damn lucky to have him. The bad old days will always be there, but having Brady, Licht, and most of our 500 coaches at their peak now makes these good times that much sweeter. I’m starving for even a preseason game right now.

  5. D-Rok Says:

    Love the attitude of Gage, and we see yet again Brady’s influence on his teammates illustrating why he is truly the GOAT. It’s widely known that Brady is very demanding of everyone around him, and some can’t handle it. Heck, I think it was 2015 or so when the Pats signed Reggie Wayne. Wayne made comments like, “Brady is too tough,” and he retired before the season started. (And the Pats let him keep his 450K signing bonus).

    Most appreciate TB12’s work ethos, but some cannot handle it. Gage seems to be embracing what Brady is teaching him, and that’s a great sign.