Tom Brady out to prove doubters wrong, says Chris Simms

Chris Simms has his own reservations over Tom Brady’s claim as the greatest quarterback of all time, but does believe the six-time Super Bowl champion will fit in nicely with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers setup.

Brady moved on from the New England Patriots after 20 years this offseason after hitting free agency for the first time in his career, with Tampa Bay eventually winning the battle for his services as they parted ways with Jameis Winston.

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Upon arriving in Florida the now-43-year-old was greeted by an exciting wide receiver corps, before later reuniting with an old friend when tight end Rob Gronkowski pressed pause on his WWE career to come out of retirement and sign with the Buccaneers.

“That was the biggest event that happened in the offseason in the NFL,” Simms, co-host of Pro Football Talk, told Sky Sports News.

“Tom Brady the GOAT, six Championships, most people look at him as the best quarterback to ever play. I would push back against that just so you know. I think you could put a lot of great quarterbacks on New England’s team with Bill Belichick and everybody and they’d still win six Super Bowls.

“I’m not trying to take anything away from Tom Brady within that. But certainly, he’s amazing, he’s clutch, he’s a leader and it is a new spot for him and of course he wants to prove the doubters wrong that ‘hey, it was a lot me, it wasn’t so much Bill Belichick’.

“So I think there’s a highly motivated Tom Brady, a Tampa Bay football team who have some really intriguing talent, some young talent that kind of opens up your eyes and they have a coach in Bruce Arians that is a character and willing to go for it.”

Brady will enter 2020 with two 1,000 yard receivers at his disposal in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, along with a blend of youth and experience at running back in Ronald Jones and LeSean McCoy and a new offensive tackle in No 13 overall pick Tristan Wirfs.

Gronkowski meanwhile strengthens a tight end department that already includes the reliable Cameron Brate and an O.J. Howard still yet to show his best in the NFL.

He will also be working with up-and-coming offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, a partnership that could prove key given his close relationship with Josh McDaniels in Foxborough.

“I think he’ll bring some of that New England offense and fuse it with the Bruce Arians offense, which is very aggressive and I think that’s going to be a good combination,” added Simms.

“They’re going to be fun to watch between Brady, Gronkowski, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, they’ve got very good receivers so offense will be fun.

“Defense is the question for me going forward. They’ve got some studs over there but their defense was one of the worst in football last year.

“So I don’t care how great Tom Brady is, if the defense doesn’t play a little bit better they’re going to have issue.”

The Bucs’ Shaquil Barrett led the NFL with 19.5 sacks last year, which resulted in the team applying the franchise tag to him this offseason.

Jason Pierre-Paul also signed a two-year, $27m extension following his 8.5 sacks, while defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh re-signed on a one-year deal.

While the added presence of interior lineman Vita Vea and linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David ensured they were well equipped against the run across their front seven, the question marks came in the secondary as the Bucs ranked 30th against the pass.

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