I would “mind” not to participate in the Meaningless Week 18 Finals
Tom Brady, take a break?
You’re kidding. Even though the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have clinched the NFC South title and can’t change their playoff standings with a victory in the regular season finale in Atlanta, Brady seemed quite puzzled when asked if that would mind resting this weekend.
“It’s always up to the coach, but yeah, I would mind,” Brady said Sunday after throwing for a season-high 432 yards and three touchdowns in a 30-24 win over the Carolina Panthers. .
“I didn’t miss any games other than my ACL (injury), then in 2016 I missed the first four games,” he added, referring to the 15 games missed in 2008 and the suspension of the Deflategate. “Other than that, I’ve played them all.”
Brady paused, smiled and laughed at the thought of sitting down.
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“I was very polite there,” the quarterback said. “It takes a lot for me to be polite.”
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We understood. Brady, 45, played in 381 games, including the playoffs, in his 23 NFL seasons. If there is a match, he wants to participate. Especially now, with Brady coming off his best game of the season, having rediscovered what it’s like to connect with Mike Evans on deep throws and with the Bucs (8-8) looking to build on the momentum that could come if they can defeat the Falcons and finish the regular season with their first three-game winning streak of the season.
There is no debate about Brady’s status. Bucs coach Todd Bowles agrees, aware of how his team — Brady included — has struggled all season to establish consistency. Bowles said his starters will play on Sunday. And for good reason
“We can improve in a lot of areas that we need to work on,” Bowles said, “and we don’t need to take our foot off the gas.”
Bowles, whose team will be seeded fourth in the NFC playoffs and host the Dallas Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles in their playoff opener, admitted he will have talks with his staff this week to figure out strategies to maybe fire some of the regulars at some point in Sunday’s game. However, in general, he will not go to the final for fear of risk of injury.
“I mean, it’s football,” Bowles said. “You can’t play 16 games and worry about the 17th… You can get hurt the first week, you can get hurt in training camp. If you worry about that, you’re probably going to get hurt anyway We signed up to play football and coach football and that’s what we’re going to do.If you’re worried about injuries, you probably don’t need to play the sport.