You know that quarterback Tom Brady is now a Buccaneer but Tuesday gave us the first opportunity to not only hear from the quarterback himself, but also Bucs General Manager Jason Licht and Head Coach Bruce Arians about how this deal all came together. Everyone was, of course, excited, but there were a ton of fun nuggets to come out of Tuesday's introductory conference call.
For instance, it was interesting to hear Licht describe Brady as the Bucs' 'number one priority' this offseason when so many around the league, even media insiders, had no inkling that was the case. Arians also raved about having a quarterback of Brady's caliber, calling him 'the greatest of all time,' even though Arians has coached the likes of Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer during his career.
Then there was Brady himself, who sounded as Brady-like as you'd expect, stressing on multiple occasions how much of a team player he wants to be and how much effort and emphasis he's placing on 'getting up to speed' with his new team and teammates.
For some of the best standalone quotes from Tuesday's presser, see below:
GM Jason Licht:
"Tom is, quite simply, the greatest quarterback to play the game of football. Any time you can add someone of his caliber, you instantly make your organization better. He's got a long list of truly remarkable accomplishments in his career – frankly, too many to mention here."
"Going after Tom in free agency was our number one priority this offseason because we knew he would be a perfect fit for what we are trying to do here. He is a Buccaneer today not for what he has done in the past, but for what we know he can accomplish here in the near future as well."
"Today we begin a new era for the Buccaneers that will define our franchise for many years to come."
HC Bruce Arians:
"I wish we could start practice tomorrow, but we can't obviously. To have Tom [Brady] lead our football team into the future – I've been very, very blessed as a coach to have been around some of the great ones. Now to have the greatest one of all time, not because, to me, of what he does on the field, but because of what he does for his teammates. He makes everyone better that walks into that huddle. Really, I'm just excited to get started."
QB Tom Brady:
"The expectation is for me is to come in and do what I feel is right for the organization and that's to be a great team player. I'm going to try to do everything I can to get up to speed with all of the things that I need to do and what my responsibilities are. I obviously have a ton of trust and respect for Coach [Bruce] Arians [and] for Jason [Licht] and what he has done to build the team and the organization as it is now. I'm thankful to the Glazer family for giving me an opportunity."
"I think, obviously where I've been, I've learned a great deal. As I move forward, like I said the other day, no one cares what you did in the past. They don't care what you did last year, five years ago or 10 years ago. I think hopefully the knowledge I have with my experience playing quarterback will allow me to transition quickly."
"I don't want to get into every process to the decision I was making at the time, but there were a lot of things that really were intriguing to me about the organization – the players, and the coaches and the willingness of everyone to try to accomplish what the goal of playing football is, which is to win."
"I've obviously paid attention to [Arians] and his offense for a long time. Everybody has somewhat different styles and philosophies on how to call things and so forth. Football, to me, is about throwing the ball to the guy that is open."
"There are some really talented players here on this offense that have very unique skill sets and it's really my responsibility – I have one ball and I've got to be able to deliver that ball to the guy who can do something with it."
"I've watched this offense over a long period of time – with a lot of different quarterbacks – have a lot of success. It's a great offense for the quarterback. It's a great offense for the receivers, for the tight ends and for the running backs. There's been a lot of great players who have been a part of working with Coach Arians."
"I was at Joe [Montana]'s last game at Candlestick Park. I actually went up there and saw it with my friend. I'll never forget that. He was an incredible player. He and Steve Young were my quarterback idols growing up. I just think life, it continues to change for all of us. Having the opportunity for me to continue to play football and lead a team is something that I love doing. I've loved playing this sport since I was a kid, since I was throwing footballs in the parking lot at Candlestick."
"It's a good division with good quarterbacks, very good offenses and very athletic defenses too. Winning the division is always the hard thing to do. These teams know each other so well and I didn't play this division but once every four years, so I've got to learn the players, I've got to learn the schemes. There's a lot of things I have to learn and get up to speed on. That's where all my time and energy will be focused on and also learning my teammates, guys like Mike [Evans] and Chris [Godwin], O.J. [Howard], Cam [Brate]. A lot of skill players – Ronald Jones and obviously the offensive line, who is a very talented group."
"Everyone says great things about [Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich]. In my brief experiences talking to him I would say all those things seem to be true. He has great football knowledge and it'll be fun to get to know each other. It'll be fun to talk about football. We both have made huge commitments in our lives to do that and it'll be fun to take on this challenge together."
"There's not one person that makes a team. It's every single person doing their job every day that's committed and determined to be the best. I'm a very disciplined quarterback and I try to follow through on the things I'm committed to and I try to work every day to be the best I can be. That's what I'm going to try to push my teammates to do and I'm just excited to get started."
Bucs tweet of the day: This entire thread.