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Godwin not worried: Bucs learning life with Brady

Sep
15
9/15/2020 12:39:22 PM
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Wide receiver Chris Godwin on Tuesday said the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are "turning the page" on a Week 1 loss to the New Orleans Saints, and that quarterback Tom Brady and his new teammates are still trying to develop the right chemistry, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.

Godwin said Brady's two-interception performance wasn't just because he's still learning a new offense, but because teammates and even coaches are still learning Brady and the way he sees defenses.

On Brady's first interception -- on a pass intended for Mike Evans on an option route -- Brady saw it as quarters coverage, but Evans read it as Cover-2, so the receiver stopped his route.

"That's kind of where the chemistry comes in, just understanding: one, a guy's body language; two, just making sure we're on the same page in terms of the read," Godwin said. "It's not just him learning guys -- it's us learning him. We have to understand the types of things that he likes versus certain coverage, versus certain leverage and make sure these option routes are easier for everyone to complete."

Even coach Bruce Arians initially saw it as Cover-2 before watching it on film after, realizing it wasn't an overthrown ball or a bad read, but Brady making the correct call and not being on the same page with Evans.

"It wasn't Cover 2, it was quarters coverage," Arians said Monday. "Mike should have been splitting, going down the middle and never stopping."

Option routes aren't new for Brady or Arians. But their success is predicated on quarterbacks and receivers seeing things the same way and doing so with enough confidence and trust to attack full-speed. Most players and coaches will tell you that repetition and communication is the only way to perfect them, and teams didn't have the benefit of those reps without an offseason program this year.

Execution, however, was still part of the problem.

"I think there were definitely some times where some of us didn't win one-on-one battles," Godwin said. "I think there was a lot of times that we did. I think there's some things that we can correct. ... I'm not particularly too worried. We've got a lot of talented guys on our team. I think we've got a lot of guys that are passionate about ball, and we're gonna do what we need to fix the problems."

Players and coaches spent all training camp raving about how Brady has elevated the standard around the organization, not just with his Super Bowl rings but with his demand for precision and willingness to coach teammates. General manager Jason Licht indicated that unlike previous years, when they tried to shield their young roster from outside expectations, this time they welcome them.

That hasn't changed with one loss.

"We understand that often, quarterbacks take the large majority of the blame for what happens with the team," Godwin said. "But we've been around Tom enough to know that he's not bothered by that. We certainly aren't bothered by it. We understand the type of player that he is.

"Him coming here, just raising the standard -- we understand that we all have to be better, individually and collectively. We're gonna take all that in stride."

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