TAMPA, Fla. — Tom Brady was about 15 minutes late to the first practice of Bucs minicamp on Tuesday.
"He's fine," coach Bruce Arians said with a laugh. "He's done those drills a million times."
Though the Bucs quarterback was late to practice, he's early on his return from knee surgery – perhaps the reason he lit up with huge smile when he hit the field.
There was some doubt Brady would participate in minicamp. Just last week, Arians had said Brady might be in more of a coaching role as he recovers from a knee clean-up. But, Tuesday he took almost every rep for the first-team offense wearing his usual brace on his left knee.
"He looked fine," Arians said. "I had to pull him out a couple times. The first period I said, 'Okay, you can have four,' and he kept begging to go back in. The only thing I didn't want him in was the blitz period where there was some guys that might get around him too quick."
It was Brady's first time throwing in front of the coaches this off-season, as he's been holding veteran workouts off campus at the Yankees spring facility across the street from One Buc Place. Arians said the most impressive part about Brady's day is that he played full speed.
"The doctors and him – they both said he was good to go," Arians said. "We'll still be careful with what we're doing with him, but trying to stop him from playing is pretty tough."
First-round draft pick Joe Tryon also returned from a knee surgery. He participated in practice for the first time since joining Tampa Bay.
"He looked really, really good," Arians said. "He's obviously everything we thought he was. Obviously we'll learn more in pads. But he's slippery in shorts and a lot of guys aren't. He showed some really good skillset."
Five key players sat out practice with injuries on Tuesday, including Antonio Brown (knee), rookie Jaelon Darden (hamstring), O.J. Howard (Achilles), Ndamukong Suh (wrist) and Jordan Whitehead (shoulder).
Arians said Howard is "really close," while Brown's "probably got two more weeks" until he returns. Arians expects all injured players to be ready by training camp in late July.
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