The “Crutch” Is Gone

August 13th, 2022

Joe enjoyed hearing one of Tom Brady’s former teammates talk about how The Goat treats every preseason game like a life or death experience.

Former Pro Bowl QB and Brady backup Matt Cassel was on ESPN Radio this week talking about the Patriots, the team for which he now covers. But the show hosts couldn’t resist asking him about the impact of Brady’s mid-August vacation from the Bucs.

The conversation went toward the preseason, with Cassel noting that Brady was the only QB he’s ever been around who prepared the same for a preseason game as he did for the regular season — down to film work, meeting time, etc.

Damn, that really made Joe take pause.

The broader point from Cassel was that Brady sets such an incredible standard and tone, the Bucs are going to feel his absence immediately.

Former Jets personnel chief and linebackers coach Pat Kirwan went there a bit on SiriusXM NFL Radio, as well, saying the Bucs now lose “the crutch” that is Brady and the team will be challenged to fill the leadership void and come together in a new way. So Kirwan things Brady’s sabbatical is a very good thing for the club.

Joe’s heard other ex-players talk this week about the Bucs being challenged to fill the “leadership vacuum” Brady’s vacation creates, and they how the team will learn more about itself in a hurry.

Maybe Brady bailing for a while really will be a great thing.

40 Responses to “The “Crutch” Is Gone”

  1. Lt. Dan Says:

    “The Goat treats every preseason game like a life or death experience.” Yes so reading this makes me think that maybe Brady’s absence wasn’t planned as Coach Bowles said. It’s starting to feel like it was more anticipated and whatever “might” happen in Brady’s world actually came to fruition. Kinda like taking a test for medical hope the results are negative and then they aren’t.

  2. #8 Says:

    Best way to know if your team is solid…go on vacation. You see who handles things or not.

    Suh would handle things.

  3. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Maybe this is a test for Bowles, to see how the team handles his leadership and to get that pressure off Brady. Many of us believe since Brady’s arrival he changed the culture and ran the show and he most likely did. The test is how will the team react without him cause he is gone either way next season or he reconsidering his retirement, remember the Fox deal.

  4. Gbobucsfan Says:

    I can’t wait for TB12’s tell all book, then turned movie (that he produces), then tv series, then remake of original movie and prequel.

  5. SB~LV Says:

    Looks like TB has taken that same passion and dedication to planning vacations while his teammates bust azz in training camp.
    Oil and water in my life!

  6. Listnfrmafar Says:

    SB-LV, sorry bud but this is the real world, the owners or managers don’t normally shovel the shat, the blue collar folks do. He’s busted his arse for 22 yrs and apparently busted his arse the last two seasons more so than BA and cronies. I guess it’s his turn to take in a movie.

  7. SB~LV Says:

    There is no me
    In team

  8. Beeej Says:

    When I saw the title I assumed the “crutch” was gonna be Gronk

  9. PSL Bob Says:

    I agree, this will be a good test for the Bucs. How do they perform in Brady’s absenc3?. Perhaps a preview of 2023, although I’m sure most of the starters will see limited action.

  10. Listnfrmafar Says:

    SB-LV this isn’t pre1980 anymore. Wake up brother every sport starting with youth is my child deserves a scholarship. There are few 3 letter athletes anymore, everything has changed to being the best at one or two at best sports in hopes that little junior or missy get a boat. The irony is many parents spend more money on AAU and other travel teams in hopes for the golden ring, yet few make it and the monies spent often exceed the amount granted by the University. A clear case of drinking the koolaid. Don’t be naive, today’s world it’s ALL me.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    This just doesn’t sound like …all in!

  12. Just Saying Says:

    If Brady prepares that hard for meaningless preseason games then maybe it was prearranged to give him a break and let the team use the preseason as a true barometer for where they are.

  13. Bird Says:

    Remember when it was proven the former guy got caught red handed w a chicks crotch and given the benefit of the doubt here. “America” still in his name

    Even the one Joe said he would be proud if that uber driver was his daughter for blackmailing his guy. Cause nothing to see here. Go check the archives

    But the new guy who gave us a super bowl. Nah. Dont care to know what happened? 😂 traitor on vacation

    And you guys think the majority at this site liked brady 😂. Its always been 1 out of 3 😂

    Will this get posted? Love to see it

  14. Mike Says:

    Let’s be honest here. Preseason should be about evaluating the bottom half of the roster. With or without Brady, that is still going to happen. We will be alright. The team will get some good work done and hopefully the Bucs will be able to get more comfortable with the hard roster decisions they will have to make.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Brady taking time off probably wasn’t a spur of the moment thing where Tom decided ‘Hey, I need a break’, unless of course there’s an emergency situation involved that none of us know about. I suspect that he discussed it with the Bucs’ front office way back when he decided to ‘unretire’.

    Regardless, it provides an opportunity for other players … and coaches … to step up & show what kind of leadership skills they have. No different than if Brady had to miss several games because of an injury. I keep thinking that this team is a lot more than JUST BRADY when it comes to talent. This is a good opportunity to show that.

  16. Listnfrmafar Says:

    DR, I would agree if the Bucs had a seasoned back-up QB. Sorry to say but very few teams go deep with a less than top 10 QB.

  17. gp Says:

    Perhaps the team TOLD Brady to take a break so they could better evaluate the talent on hand without his influence?

  18. Eddie Marz Says:

    Everybody’s panicking except The Tampa Team. Lighten up guys, Brady took some time for his family. Is that so hard to grasp? It’s a very long season and he’s going to have to do this to keep playing. GOBUCS!

  19. DmanTX Says:

    I think it will be good from the backup QB perspective. Time for the guys to demonstrate they can be effective should their number be called. Excited to see their play. Go Bucs!!

  20. WillieG Says:

    If I was the Bucs coaching staff, I would definitely favor giving Brady a large chunk of the preseason off if he’s that intense. He will be less mentally fatigued come the playoffs, and his teammates might actually be more coachable if they don’t feel the pressure to live up to Brady’s standards. Hell, I’d probably even insist that he takes extra time off during the week for R&R, especially if I thought there was a chance he would play beyond this season. I’d concentrate my efforts on showing him that he can have his cake and eat it too.

  21. Ausgust 1976 Buc Says:

    This is only football, Not complicated for the players, I mean man up or get out. Come on. This is a group of grown man, and this is not rocket science, He will be back.
    Time to have a glorified scrimmage with the Dolphins.

    GO BUCS!!!

  22. gp Says:

    When lighting a fire with a blowtorch, you have to pull the torch back sometime to see where and how well the fire has taken hold

  23. gp Says:

    Considering his competitive nature, it will drive him nuts to not even be on the sideline during a game. Dallas beware, when he comes back the fire will be burning that much brighter.
    4-0 to start the season!

  24. My Momma Says:

    I think we’re seeing the fact that Brady loves his wife and his children above football. This was something that was planned during his brief “retirement”. I believe this is a compromise with his wife. We have heard from the beginning that they were building a house in Miami before he even joined the Bucs. And I can see part of that plan was becoming part owner of the Miami Dolphins.This is all part of their master plan. They’re just getting him ready for his permanent retirement. Might as well enjoy the ride.

  25. Alvafan Says:

    So Tom not being Tom is a good thing.? The Bucs were full of talented players in 2019 with a seasoned former # 1 pick at quarterback. There was veteran leadership from JPP,Suh,David and others we had an experienced coaching staff above and beyond the usual fare at One Bucs Place. What did we get? A disappointing 7-9 record and major question marks as to whether the organization would get over the hump and deliver a playoff team ever. Then in 2020 the Brady thing happened and all of a sudden the whole darn organization started believing in the possibility that one player could change an entire decade long losing culture. We all know the joy that he brought to us. The buzz that he created. But sadly cracks have started showing in our version of Atlas. And now the Bucs are on their own again. I don’t see anyone either coach or player filling the leadership vacuum when Tom leaves. And in some ways hasn’t he already left? In NE there seemed to be two men sharing the leadership role. when Tom left they were still able to maintain the culture albeit not at the same intensity. We have this year to try and get some of that magic to rub off here. Here’s hoping that is possible.

  26. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Who said Brady was ALL in? BA said he was, didn’t that change?

  27. Bird Says:

    Lov yah. Thats awesome. 1000 is true

  28. T REX Says:

    This team is 5-12 without Brady

    So much rationalizing.

  29. Tbbucs3 Says:

    “This team is 5-12 without Brady”

    Not a chance…even if Gabbert started its still a 500 team. 5-12 maybe if Trask or Ryan Griffen started.

  30. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Tbucs@ if Bucs were 7-9 with Winsten that threw over 5000 yds and 30+ TD’s, you honestly believe Gabbert can throw up numbers even close to that?

  31. Tbbucs3 Says:


    Yes, not because of Gabbert bit the Bucs defense in 2019 was terrible….the last 2 seasons have been a totally different defense.

  32. Scooter Says:

    Johnny Sample Said the games not that complicated, u line up and beat the guy opposite u. If HC Brian Flores with accusations and lawsuits didn’t make the Dolphin franchise toxic, Sept.11 at 1:00p.m. Brady might have been in Miami facing the visiting Patriots. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  33. Rod Munch Says:

    Wow are there a lot of drama queens out there.

    Brady is taking like 10-days off or something… I think the team will survive.

  34. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I agree, Rod.

    Still, it’s not a bad thing for the other leaders to have to step up…would be nice to know where we stand when Tom is gone.

  35. GOB Says:

    Brady’s drive is almost akin to a mental illness. I think it comes from the fear of failure, and being pick 199. Remember, he went 10 years in between Superbowl wins. That’s a career for most QBs. IMO, his best year was 06. He did as much with less, as any QB in NFL history. That year, he lost to Manning after gaining a 20-6 lead. The colts jacked up the temperature in the dome, and that was that.

  36. GOB Says:

    Sorry 21-6

  37. Listnfrmafar Says:

    GOB, ya think? Ben Watson, Doug Gabrial, Reche Caldwell, Jabar Gaffney. They did have Dillion, Faulk in the backfield. Their Oline was good and a stacked D. Belichick blew that game called a dump off pass to Faulk on 4&3 with the lead,, rather than punt with like 1:20 left in the game on Indy’s 25 yard line. Horrible call, use to give me nightmares until the final Rams series last season.

  38. Scooter Says:

    @Gob. By temperature I’m guessing u mean manufactured noise level so Brady couldn’t audible.

  39. brooks Says:

    Who cares. When it’s time to play he’ll punch the clock. You telling me u wouldn’t do the same?

  40. Oneilbuc Says:

    Listnfrmafar is a Patriot fan so all he cares about is Brady . Brady will be gone next year and so would Listnfrmafar and all the other Patriots fans I can’t wait to get rid of these banwagers.