The Buccaneers went into their bye on a sour note, losing to the division-rival Saints 36-27. Quarterback Tom Brady had three turnovers in the contest, tossing a pick-six to P.J. Williams late in the fourth quarter that put the game out of reach.
Tampa Bay remains one of the league’s top teams with a 6-2 record. The club is first in scoring and second in total yards, while also sporting one of the league’s top rushing defenses.
But given the way he’s wired, it’s not a shock that Brady said Thursday there’s no shortage of things the Buccaneers can improve in the second half of their season.
“I don’t think there’s one area where I think that we can’t be better,” Brady said in his press conference. “Everything, I think we can improve. A lot of it is just great communication, us being on the same page. You’ve just got to continue to talk through things. As much as we think we’ve been together, we really haven’t been together that long. I was with players for seven, eight years, 10 years, where nothing needs to be said. We’ve only been together a year-and-a-half. The meetings are important, the walk-throughs are important, practices are important — just being in constant communication with everything to try to improve everything that we’re doing.”
Tampa Bay plays Washington on Sunday, the last meeting between the two teams being the Wild Card matchup that was Taylor Heinicke‘s coming out party. While the Football Team’s defense led the club to the postseason last year, the unit’s struggled mightily in 2021, ranking 29th in points allowed and 30th in yards allowed.
“It was a tough game. They were down but never out, and they made a lot of really clutch plays,” Brady said. “A lot of guys really played good football for them. It’s a really great defensive front. There are some young players, but it’s all like fourth year, fifth year, sixth year. It’s a very young defense in that aspect, there are no 12-year guys and they’ve got some young guys that are really talented players.
“It’s going to be a great football environment. We’ve got to go on the road, the road’s going to be colder than we’re used to. We’ve got to go play great football and see if we can come off the bye and start playing better than the way we’ve played.”