Tom Brady saw his first action of this preseason, playing 11 snaps and leading the Bucs to a field goal. His appearance required him to speak to the media afterward.
It marked the first time the quarterback has talked publicly since the NFL punished the Dolphins and owner Stephen Ross for tampering with Brady and coach Sean Payton. It also was the first time Brady has met with the media since taking an 11-day hiatus for personal reasons.
Brady’s absence reportedly had nothing to do with the health of Brady or his family, but there was no announcement or reporting on why he was away from the team. Brady shed little light on the situation Saturday.
“It’s all personal,” Brady said, via video from the team. “You know everyone’s got different situations they’re dealing with. So, we all have really unique challenges to our life. I’m 45 years old, man. There’s a lot of shit going on. You’ve just got to try to figure out life the best you can. It’s a continuous process.”
Bucs coach Todd Bowles and General Manager Jason Licht both said at the time that Brady’s hiatus was planned, but whether it was or not, the team had no choice but to go along. Brady said Saturday he was grateful to the Bucs for accommodating him.
“Since I’ve come to this organization, it’s been an amazing experience for me to come to this place and be this supported over a long period of time,” Brady said, via Greg Auman of TheAthletic.com.
There was speculation outside the facility about whether Brady might retire. He announced he was retiring this offseason before returning after 40 days. He is back again, but it prompts a question about whether his heart is still in it?
Brady was asked Saturday whether he has addressed what he needed to address in his personal leave.
“I’m ready to go,” Brady said.