Tampa Bay Buccaneers OC Byron Leftwich spoke with the media on Feb. 1 about experience coaching QB Tom Brady and he’s not surprised the Buccaneers made it this far with the talent surrounding Brady.
BYRON LEFTWICH: Well, it's exciting to work with the guy that they call the best to ever play his position. I mean, obviously he's very aware. He's a smart football player. He's been in every situation. And I get an opportunity to work with him after he's already done 20 years of this, right? So it's been kind of fun to just learn from him, him to learn from me.
What's been the most amazing thing about this whole thing is his approach of it. He came in, and he's told me from day one just coach me, let me know what you want. Obviously, we work together from a gameplan standpoint, but he's really a guy that I'm gonna go out and execute this play, regardless of what you call, at a high level. And let's just try to play our best football, execute at a high level.
Kind of what I was saying earlier about he-- I mean, he learned the game the old-school way, too, so he's not a young guy that's really just been going fast. He's a guy that's been around a lot of different types of football. We were just talking about like back in the day, if you had 26 attempts and 204 yards, that was a huge day most Sundays.
You know? That was a huge day most Sundays when I first got into the league and when he first got into the league. And we're just amazed at how much the game has changed.
Oh, yeah, he want to be coached hard. He want to be coached. He want you to let him know when he's not doing the right things, and that's the easy part for me because you want to help. You want to put the player in the best position to have success. And if you don't coach guys like-- guys like this want you to give them information and to help them be the best football players they can be, so they're never afraid of hard coaching. That's the easy part for them.
I'm not really shocked that we're here in this game, to be honest with you. I think we had a good football team last year, a young football team that was learning how to win. I remember telling my offensive staff and just, at the end of the year last year, looking at all the free agents that were coming out. And I remember telling myself, if I'm a free agent quarterback, I'm coming to Tampa. I remember saying, I'm coming to Tampa.
Just to see the players that we had here-- and I know the perspective of the Buccaneers and all those things. But as a quarterback, you watch the tape, you cut the tape up, you saw the talent that we had, especially with the guys that were free agent quarterbacks. The guys that were free agent quarterbacks coming up, I just knew that this would be a nice spot.
I wouldn't say that I thought that it would lead to ultimately being in the Super Bowl. I think once you get Tom Brady, that's automatically an option, right? Because, I mean, he's in it all the time. So we knew it was a possibility by having him. We knew we had to put the work in, though, to make sure we get here.
We knew it wasn't gonna be done by a bunch of talent. A bunch of talent don't get the job done. Guys pulling together, coming together, committing to each other, we knew that would be the way that we ultimately have an opportunity to play in this game. And guys done a good job of doing that all year long.