Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski
Aug 20, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) train during training camp at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If NFL defenses weren’t already worried about facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Tom Brady under center, they should be now. After Thursday’s practice, tight end Rob Gronkowski made a revelation that shows why the Buccaneers are a legit Super Bowl contender.

Brady, who turned 43 this month, signed with the Buccaneers this offseason and faced plenty of questions about his fit in head coach Bruce Arians’ offense. With training camp underway and the 2020 NFL season closing in, though, seems ready to silence the critics.

Rob Gronkowski raves about Tom Brady’s arm strength

When Gronkowski entered the league as a second-round pick by the New England Patriots, he joined was one of the NFL’s greatest dynasties. Brady was in the prime of his career at 33, torching opposing defenses with ease.

After playing with Brady for nearly a decade, Gronkowski has seen the future Hall of Famer sustain a level of greatness into his 40s. While many might think Brady’s skills are in decline, a very different perspective is held in Tampa Bay.

It’s not the first time Brady’s new teammates have unleashed praises on him. The 43-year-old has looked sharp in training camp and tight end Cameron Brate also spoke highly about the 43-year-old’s arm strength.

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But Gronkowski’s perspective is especially noteworthy given they played together from 2010-’09. During that stretch, the Patriots won three Super Bowls. Along the way, Brady won two NFL MVP awards, was named an All-Pro three times and was unanimously named to the NFL 2010s All-Decade team.

The Buccaneers averaged the fourth-most points (28.6) and led the NFL in passing yards (4,845) in 2019 despite having Jameis Winston at quarterback. With Brady under center and an improved offensive line, this team is capable of winning a Super Bowl.

Tom Brady’s stats prove his arm strength won’t be a problem

Few coaches in NFL history love their quarterbacks throwing deep more than Bruce Arians. Vertical passes are a key part of Tampa Bay’s offense and that will remain the case with Brady under center.

It would seem natural for a quarterback’s arm strength to decline with age, especially when they get into their 40s. However, Brady has proven that he can still sling the football deep and deliver it with plenty of touch.

According to Player Profiler, a fantasy football tool, Brady attempted 60 passes last season that went 20-plus yards down the field. Ir ranked 15th in the NFL and was just a slight dip from when he attempted 69 deep throws in 2018.

There’s no denying Brady had a down year in 2019 with the Patriots. However, the Buccaneers’ assessment that a poor supporting cast was to blame is accurate. By leaving New England behind, Brady goes from one of the worst supporting casts in the league to the best receiver duo with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

An offense with All-Pro talents on the outside is difficult enough to stop. Throw in Gronk, Brate and O.J. Howard into the equation and this becomes one of the NFL’s best offenses. If Tampa Bay’s defense steps up this season, there’s no doubt this team could win a ring.

Matt Johnson
NFL, MLB & college football writer for Sportsnaut. Graduated from San Diego State University with BA in Journalism, 2019. Grew up in Sacramento, now based in Indianapolis. Seen on MSN. Previously: eDraft, The Connection, With the First Pick