Todd Bowles finds silver lining in Tom Brady’s 11-day hiatus

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Linger questions regarding Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady’s 11-day training-camp hiatus. He had a chance to fully delve into the situation during the 2022 debut episode of Let’s Go!but to no surprise he didn’t.

In a sit-down with Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy for Sunday’s edition of Football Night in Americawhich precedes Bucs-Cowboys, Tampa Bay coach Todd Bowles found a silver lining in the nearly two-week absence of the most important player in pewter.

“I thought it was a good thing,” Bowles told Dungy, via JoeBucsFan.com. “And it kind of helped us develop our run game a little more. You know, it’s like, ‘OK, we’ve got to play with Blaine [Gabbert] golden kyle [Trask], let’s develop things we have to do to win the ballgame.’ And I think in that process we got our run game going a little more because we spent a little more time on it, which we probably wouldn’t have had he been here. So I think it’s helped us on the long run. And we figured out that we’re a team and not just one guy and a team.”

It feels like a determined effort to view the glass as half full, to spin an obvious negative into a positive. And it invites a real question as to what Bowles means when he refers to the “long run.” As it relates to 2023, if/when Brady is gone, the reps for Gabbert and Trask may be helpful. But, obviously, they’ll get plenty of reps then, too. (If they’re even the options at the position.) And to the extent the run game will become more of a factor in the team’s inevitable post-Brady existence, that’s something else that can be worked on after Brady goes.

So here’s the real question. Does Bowles regard the work done in Brady’s absence as useful in the “long run” of the season, in the event that Brady, who currently is “all-in,” may be all-out again? At one point in the new Let’s Go!, Jim Gray raised with Brady the notion of NBA-style load management, which arguably could be interpreted as introducing the possibility that Brady will take a game off at some point in the marathon-not-sprint of a 17-game regular season. Brady’s answer did nothing to shout down the vague possibility that perhaps, given the new length of the NFL campaign as of 2021, maybe it will make sense for a 45-year-old quarterback to have a second bye — even if the rest of his team doesn’t.

Regardless, the situation remains completely unprecedented. And since one of the things we try to do here is to process news, interpret its meaning, and spin it forward, everything seems to still be on the table as it relates to whether Brady will remain with the Buccaneers for every single stop on a journey that gets started in only four days.

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