MUNICH — Despite being 4-5 and for the first time sitting below .500 nine weeks into the regular season, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady said Friday he has “zero” regrets about rejoining the Bucs after his 40-day retirement this spring.
“Zero, no. Definitely not,” Brady said. “I returned because I felt like I wanted to compete and I spoke to the team about it and they were excited to have me back. I don’t really regret those types of things — I think when I commit to it, I mean it and I do my best and try to give everything I can to this particular opportunity.”
Brady, along with a stout defense that saw the return of several key pieces, orchestrated an emotional come-from-behind victory over the Los Angeles Rams last week with the opportunity to get to .500 with a win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. That kind of predicament would doom the Bucs in any other division in the NFL.
But the NFC South was weakened considerably with the Carolina Panthers still searching for a long-term solution at the quarterback position after Cam Newton, the retirement of Drew Brees in New Orleans and the end of Matt Ryan’s tenure with the Atlanta Falcons, who just slipped out of first place with a 25-15 loss to the Panthers. The division has also seen several head-coaching changes.
“I think the frustrating part is we just haven’t played to the way we’re capable of playing — that’s for a number of different reasons,” Brady said. “This is a very important game for us — we have a bye week after this. It gives you a chance to kind of evaluate where you’re at and I’d much rather evaluate being 5-5 than being 4-6. We’ve got to just win this game and it’ll take care of that.”
The Bucs’ 18 points per game this season are the fewest by a Brady-led offense through nine games in his career. The fewest for a Brady team through the first 10 games of the regular season were 19.6 in 2003. The Bucs would need to score 35 points against the Seahawks on Sunday to better that mark.
Brady expressed concern on his podcast earlier this week over a lack of effort, something he elaborated on Thursday.
“What can we control? We can certainly control our attitude, our effort. I think everything has been below the line this year — we’re 4-5 … I don’t think there’s any reason to be happy about anything we’ve done,” Brady said. “Obviously, we’re not playing to our standards — we’re not there from an effort standpoint, execution standpoint, emotional standpoint. We’ve got to figure it out — this is a good place to do it.”
The hope is that the Bucs can go into the bye week and hit the reset button — analyzing what has and hasn’t worked for them. Those have been particularly productive for Brady throughout his career. He’s 15-5 coming off bye weeks. International games have been particularly kind to him too. He’s 3-0 in games played outside the United States.