- Tom Brady called an audible that resulted in a touchdown for Rob Gronkowski.
- After the game, Gronkowski said Brady changed the call twice to get him the score.
- Gronkowski joked that Brady has played for 80 years and has seen every type of defense.
Tom Brady has seen it all over many, many years in the NFL.
During the third quarter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season-opening win over the Dallas Cowboys, Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski for an 11-yard touchdown.
The play was only made possible, however, by Brady diagnosing the coverage at the line of scrimmage and calling an audible for Gronkowski.
Gronkowski told reporters that he was initially supposed to run a route, but Brady first called for him to block, then called for him to block and then release on a route.
Gronkowski joked that Brady’s “80 years” of experience made it possible.
“Tom made a great call,” Gronkowski said. “I was actually on a route, and then he checked me into blocking, and then he checked me into blocking and releasing. He just sees it all on the field. It’s impressive. I mean the guy’s been playing for like 80 years, seen every defense, seen every play.”
—Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) September 10, 2021
Brady and Gronkowski connected on two touchdowns on the evening, with the third-quarter score being their 100th touchdown connection together.
Though the call was probably routine for Brady, it was still an impressive bit of scheming from the 44-year-old in his 22nd season. By changing the call, Brady had Gronkowski block on the outside, but intentionally left a gap in coverage. As the Cowboys blitzed, suddenly there was a hole right in the middle of the defense.
After the game, Brady confirmed that the play was not what they had originally drawn up. He said teams can’t “live” on those types of plays, saying the margin for error is “thin” in the NFL.
But as the Bucs showed last night, having a quarterback with Brady’s skill, IQ, and experience makes things easier.