Tom Brady has been dropping hints all week about how excited he is — not just about Super Bowl 2021 on Sunday, but beyond.
On Wednesday, the Buccaneers 43-year-old quarterback talked about how much better he expects to be next year than he’s been this year. On Thursday, he specifically spoke about already thinking about how he plans to train this offseason with hopes of improving his speed.
Brady is signed through next season on his two-year, $50 million contract, but he’s also said this week that he will consider playing beyond 45 years old.
Asked on Thursday whether he expects the team to sign Brady to an extension this offseason, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said, “I don’t have anything to do with contracts, so that would have to be a [GM] Jason [Licht] question.
“I think Tom is real happy where he is at, and I wouldn’t be surprised.”
State of the NFL
Commissioner Roger Goodell conducted his annual Super Bowl state-of-the-NFL news conference Thursday, and among the topics discussed was the COVID-19 pandemic, how the league handled the 2020 season and what’s expected in 2021.
“I don’t know when normal will occur again, and I don’t know if normal ever will again,’’ Goodell said. “I know this: We’ve learned to operate in a difficult environment. We have found solutions, and we’ll do it again.”
Goodell also hinted that Tampa might have a chance to host another Super Bowl earlier than it normally might because of the revenue the city is losing out on with the pandemic preventing tourists from coming to the area and going to the game.
“I never want to get into specifics on that because it’s ultimately an ownership vote,’’ Goodell said. “But I think everyone knows the unique circumstances that we faced this season. They also know how extraordinary Tampa has been in working through that. I think that’ll be a big consideration in their minds when they do sit down and vote.’’
Brady’s ‘slippery shoulders’
Chiefs DE Chris Jones, speaking about Brady on Thursday, touted his “slippery’’ shoulders making him difficult to sack.
“Tom Brady doesn’t have the best feet, but those shoulders are ridiculous,” Jones said. “It’s hard to get to him, because he moves his shoulder in ways … it’s like when you’re skating, you know how your body is moving different ways? He can move his shoulders like that.
“Tom Brady’s slippery with those shoulders. He’s dangerous. That’s why it’s so hard to get to him.’’
Andy Reid: ‘Heart goes out” to the Schottenheimers
With former Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, having been moved to a hospice facility near his home in Charlotte, N.C., according to a statement released by his family, current Chiefs coach Andy Reid said on Thursday, “My heart goes out to the Schottenheimer family.’’
Schottenheimer, 77, is listed in stable condition at the hospice facility, the family said.
Schottenheimer coached the Chiefs for 10 seasons, finishing first or second in the division in the first nine. The 1993 team reached the AFC Championship game. Post Schottenheimer, the Chiefs went through six head coaches before they hired Reid in 2018.
TB12 almost TB7
Brady expressed gratitude to Bucs receiver Chris Godwin for giving him his No. 12 jersey when Brady signed with Tampa Bay, something Godwin initially said “bothered me a little bit’’ because he’d been wearing No. 12 since he was in high school.
In an interview with NBC Sports’ Peter King, Licht revealed that Brady had another jersey number in mind if No. 12 was unavailable — No. 7, which had to do with his pursuit of a seventh Super Bowl ring.
Godwin switched to No. 14 and had the best year of his career — 86 receptions for 1,333 yards and nine TDs — catching passes from No. 12.
“I know numbers for some people mean a lot, and Chris was so cool about it,’’ Brady said Thursday. “I’ve just loved my experience with Chris. He’s a stud no matter what number he’s wearing — 12, 14 — he’s a baller. He can wear any number and be great.’’
For the Bucs, WR Antonio Brown (knee) went from limited participation in Wednesday’s practicing to full participation on Thursday. DE Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) went from not practicing on Wednesday to limited participation Thursday. DT Steve McLendon didn’t practice Thursday, but it was not injury related. LB Lavonte David (hamstring) was limited Thursday, as was TE Cameron Brate (back) and safeties Antoine Winfield Jr. (ankle) and Jordan Whitehead (shoulder). For the Chiefs, RB Le’Veon Bell (knee) and WR Sammy Watkins (calf) were both limited in practice Thursday.
The weather is forecast to be wet for Sunday in Tampa with a 60 percent chance of rain or thunderstorms in the morning, clearing during the day and a 30 percent chance of precipitation in the evening, with kickoff at 6:30 p.m.
One Giant anniversary
Wednesday was the 13th anniversary of the Giants pulling off one of the greatest upsets in NFL history, upsetting the previously unbeaten Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Tom Coughlin, the coach of that Giants team, told People Magazine that he sent text messages to Eli Manning, Michael Strahan and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo on the anniversary date. Spagnuolo is preparing for another Super Bowl as the Chiefs’ defensive coordinator.