Better Focus Without Tom Brady?

June 28th, 2023

Much has been spoken of the valuable Tom Brady Effect, which raises the games of all teammates and enhances a franchise’s culture and commitment from the ownership suite to the custodial staff.

Yeah, Joe realizes the vaunted Brady Effect apparently drowned in the Hudson River when Brady bolted the team in October to attend Robert Kraft’s wedding hours before the Bucs were embarrassed by an undermanned Steelers club in Pittsburgh.

Still, Brady had a huge impact. But was there a downside?

Speaking on SiriusXM NFL Radio yesterday, former Bucs cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting (2019-2022) said life with the Tennessee Titans seems to make it easier to dial in on football.

“More of a certain focus for myself because there’s not a bunch of cameras around, you know, you can just hone in or your craft and hone in on yourself,” Murphy-Bunting said. “You don’t have to think about all the other things that go into it. You can just play ball.”

Joe doesn’t care about SMB and the Titans, but Joe does care about ways in which the absence of Brady could be a positive for Tampa Bay.

The Bucs did have sort of a circus-like atmosphere around training camp last season with the usual Brady-team hype and Brady announcing he’d be abandoning the club for a long stretch for personal reasons. Perhaps there were coaches and players (like Murphy-Bunting?) that got too swept up in the drama?

If so, the Bucs could see a better dialed in team this season on some level.

Joe’s not making excuses or buying into the distraction theory — the Bucs did start last season 2-0 — but it it worth considering.

36 Responses to “Better Focus Without Tom Brady?”

  1. Lt. Dan Says:

    Joe you triggered me with that reminder of the Pittsburg game…D@mn!

    Interesting choice of your headline, ‘Better Focus Without Tom Brady?” right next to a picture of disgruntled, pouty Devin White.

  2. 1sparkybuc Says:

    I feel like I got my Bucs back when Brady retired for good. The team would be better right now if he had stayed retired last year imo. We would already know much more about Trask even if never started. At least his preparation would have been something above being spectator.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I appreciate what Brady did for us….but he became most of the story and sucked up the vast majority of attention….Mow it will be back to the mostly boring Bucs….but it will be our Bucs.

  4. CrackWise Says:

    Agreed, it was nice having Brady for through the Sickness. A welcomed distraction that lead to an unexpected run of great ball for a couple years.

    I too thought him coming back after he retired was a pointless endeavored but never imagined he would become the problem that he obviously became.

    With that said, I would not trade the Brady experience for anything. I just want to see the team resume its climb out of being the worse franchise in all of sprots.

    It starts in just a month and a few days. Lets Getter DONE!!!

  5. Dew Says:

    Bucs won 2 Super Bowls in this century. I’m not complaining,

  6. HC Grover Says:

    This makes zero sense to me. Better w/o The GOAT? Better w/o Wires…etc. Hopium.

  7. rashad brown Says:

    I agree with most of you guys. I’m very appreciative for Brady but I’m happy the circus is over. Back to no media attention, which is fine with me. I turned sour on Brady after the 10-day hiatus.

  8. teacherman777 Says:

    Anybody else ever gone through a divorce?

    With kids?

    It’s like death.

    I went through it during Covid.

    Going through a divorce is one of the hardest things a father can go through.

    And Tom Brady is a good father and a good man.

    Are there any fans with compassion? Or life experience?

    Tom Brady had the hardest year of his life last season.

    Have mercy on him. And pray for him.

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I would still take Brady…except for the cap issues that accompany him.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    I agree. Never been thru divorce, but I am married to the love of my life for almost 30 years, and I cannot express how torn up I would be.

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I would take the circus in a heartbeat if it meant we had a chance at the big game. Why anyone would want to return to the old days of not being noticed is beyond me.

  12. Mike C Says:

    I won’t pray for him, but I absolutely appreciate and have compassion for what he went through physically and emotionally last year.

  13. Bucnjim Says:

    I think it became a mindset that Brady was always going to bail the team out in the 4th quarter which he did his entire career. This in my opinion contributed to the slow start in games, especially last year. Someone posted that we averaged 8 points in the first half. With the number of weapons we had on offense that is embarrassing. Had to be several complete meltdowns to reach this low.

  14. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    If I were a player and Brady talked this great game about building a team here, only to look at leaping to Miami when he got the chance… it is hard to stay loyal to someone like that.

    Am I wrong or does it seem like there was less gushing over Brady by other players last year?

  15. sasquatch Says:

    Brady’s retire/unretire and his personal issues and absences were distractions. There is no doubt. Removing that and swapping out the sluggish, arrogant, and boring Flat Brim Boob OC for the high-energy and creative Canales should result in far more focus and energy on the offensive side, at least.

  16. Dooley Says:

    Appreciate Brady for seeing he had an opportunity to extend his career with our Bucs, grateful he played his part in getting us over the hump and on top of the mountain for the 2nd time in two decades, but I’m with those of you who already expressed that last year was 1 year too many. Brady, Manning, Elway, Gannon, Cunningham, McNabb, and a few others all kept playing a little too far past their primes and ended up showing us their decline on a week to week basis.

    I think fans give Brady way too much credit for comebacks especially considering that if we averaged 6 more points per half/game we would’ve won at least 2 more games in 2022 notably Green Bay & Pittsburgh. I’m looking forward to being younger, faster, and not having to see our signal caller throw more weekly temper tantrums than TDs while our punt team trots out onto the field.

  17. Lt. Dan Says:

    @ Teacherman – well said.

  18. Duane Says:

    So people bitch about too much attention on the Bucs because of the GOAT. But I seem to recall seeing a crap load of JBF posts whining that the national media no longer pay any attention to the Bucs because no GOAT.

    So which is it?

    Or is the whole point to just yak and yak and bitch and bitch about how the Bucs aren’t the most perfect football team in the universe?

    Being a fan is not about bitching. It is about supporting a team “in sickness and in health” just like the traditional wedding vow.

  19. Duane Says:

    For those here who whine that Brady overstayed his welcome last year, are you all freaking NUTS?

    Without Brady last season and having the worst offensive line in the league, we’d have had the number one overall pick in the draft in April, and thus have to rely upon a rook qb this season with no idea how to play the game.

  20. HC Grover Says:

    Those banking on Bowles and Mayfield may be suffering from pre-season Irrational Exberance

  21. HC Grover Says:

    Ariens and Bowles could not stand the reason the Bucs won the Super Bowl. It was Brady, not them. We would have had 2 in a row but for Bowles Magnificent Blunder.

  22. Dwayne Cone Says:

    There is no one happier that the Spot Light is not on Tom brady than Tom Brady.
    Ever since the two minute drill against the Rams Brady’s life was forever changed.
    With each additional Super Bpwl appearance it increased even more. You could say it has increased 10 Fold over his career.

    If the Players left on the Roster from Brady’s 3 years at Tampa think less of past distractions and continue to practice how Brady prepared himself both physically and mentally for each and every game they will carry on the Culture he brought when he came to town.

  23. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    These struggle sessions are entertaining lol.

    “Life without Brady things will get better”

    Yeah no.

    This team imploded and it started with the decision to give Bowles 5 years and hand the offensive play calling responsibilities to SpongeBob.

    The interior line was replaced with rookies and underperformed mightily. No Gronk. No AB. Replacement WR they signed was hurt all year. Bucs had not one but two DL busts do nothing. DL FA was hurt half the year.

    Tom Brady willed this team single handedly to the playoffs limping in on a 8-9 record.

    Now he’s gone and the line is “We’re going to get better with a rookie OC and Captain Checkdown at QB”

    Goodness gracious. I know everyone is optimistic this time of year, but wow this is egregious.

  24. Davy Crocket Says:

    Here’s a thought: we went 2-0 last year because no one knew about our offense after Arians. After 2 games, other DCs figured out how to stop us. Unfortunately, BL did not change the offense – ever! His theory was to do few things perfectly and no one could stop us. But we could not do anything perfectly consistently, if at all.

  25. Dooley Says:

    It’s 2023, pretty sure kool-aid makes & sells an avocado flavored drink

  26. geno711 Says:

    Does anyone else feel like SMB is talking 3 times as much as when he was with the Bucs. He better back it up as much as he is talking this year.

  27. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    teacherman777 your wife left you during covid? Damn. Sorry about that brother. Went through a divorce 15 years ago with kids. Rough. Heart breaking. You really don’t know a person until you divorce them – and then they show you their blackest insides.

    The good news is it gets better. You go through a few tough years and then you emerge from the darkness

    After last year I can’t blame Brady for retiring. Must have been emotionally exhausting. Wife had a mid life crisis and blew up the marriage. Tough season with futile playcalling ending in an embarrassing loss at home to the Cowgirls.

    All things considered it was a year where all the signs were pointing to retirement – or at least the end of Bucs tenure for Brady.

  28. Ed Says:

    As much as I am a fan of Brady, he should have retired on top after the Super Bowl win. Would have been an amazing “mike drop moment” to end his career. It might even have saved his marriage, but who knows about that.

    As for last year, Brady had clearly finally fallen off the cliff, but the whole team just totally imploded. O-line was horrible, D-line couldn’t get pressure, and blitzers always seemed just a second late. And the run game was historically bad and unimaginative. I still remember this sequence: third and one — Fournette up the middle for no gain. Fourth down, same play, same result. Pathetic play calling AND execution.

  29. Tony Says:

    Maybe if Baker & Trask don’t do anything we can start either Arians or Tom Moore at QB.

  30. FortMyersDave Says:

    Dooley, add Cleveland to Green Bay and Pittsburgh. 11-6 instead of 8 dash 9. Personally, Leftwich should have been launched after the Pitt debacle and Bowels was responsible for the Brown OT loss.

  31. Oneilbuc Says:

    1sparky. I agree with you bro I feel the same way I finally got my bucs back. I was sick of hearing when we won it was because of Brady but when we lost it was the team fault regardless how Brady played . Now at least when we win this year it will be because of the team as a whole. And when we lose it will be as a team .

  32. Dooley Says:


    Bro we had 11 possessions in regulation, punted 7 times, scored 3 times and took a team to OT that we could’ve put away ha we Ben able to run the ball better or not send Camarda out because our offense as a whole was incapable of matriculating down field with any regulatory. The offense was so crappy last season, we ditched Leftwich, waved goodbye to Tom and hired Dave to come in and essentially serve as a human enema for our offensive side of the ball. I guess everybody needs a fall guy, boogie man, or their own personal Clinton

  33. JBBUCS_06 Says:

    Brady was a blessing and a curse. Great to laser focus and win a SB. Puts us up on the division against the Aints with 2-1. But it also had players “leaning” on Brady and the TB12 affect. Now that the vets have learned, time to lead. Lock in! and let’s shock the NFL when no one expects it! Oh wait, we have Baker. Hopefully the D is great.

  34. BigMacAttack Says:

    Teach I’m going on 43 years and she still hates me lol. My dad split before I was born and I learned what kind of father I didn’t want to be. I’m thankful to TB12 and have no complaints. I’ll still call everything on the field as I see it, but Tom Brady brought this organization out of the dump that it had been in for far too long. Gronk was a huge influence as well and I have nothing but love and respect for both of them. I think there was more to that divorce though than just him deciding to play the last season. I don’t know and I hope I never do.

  35. Buccos Says:

    I would take Brady again this year over anything we have now. After that Carolina game it was obvious that he could still sling it at an elite level. We just didn’t have the horses last year. Losing Marpet, Jensen and Gronkowski in one year was just too much to overcome. And Shaq

  36. garro Says:

    So Brady’s stardom made it hard to maintain focus for another player?
    SMB 2022 salary $2,540,000 for starting 5 games?
    Cry me a river!
    Never heard that one before…Geez!

    Go Bucs!