TAMPA, Fla. — Tom Brady revealed after Wednesday's minicamp practice that his knee issue started over a year ago — in April 2020 — which means he played an entire 20-game season and won Super Bowl LV with a bum knee.
"It was an injury I dealt with since last April-May," Brady said. "I knew I would have to have something done at the end of the year. Happy I did it. It certainly needed to be done, and it was a great outcome, so I'm very happy about that. I'll be able to do some different things this year that I wasn't able to do last year."
The Bucs quarterback said the knee surgery happened 15 weeks ago to the date. He didn't give specifics on the injury, saying he's a little "old school" in that regard.
“From this point to the beginning of training camp, I feel like I can really work hard at football improvement as opposed to getting back to a rehab place where you’re more baseline," Brady said.
Brady never appeared on the injury report during the 2020 season. He was cleared to start throwing three weeks ago, when he organized veteran workouts off-site at the Yankees spring training facility.
Coach Bruce Arians has held Brady out of blitz periods, but besides that, he's been full-speed.
"I can hardly get out of bed myself," Arians said, joking about the 43-year-old Brady's health. "I ain't that much older."
A year ago, Brady was learning a new offense for the first time in 20 seasons. He said the difference this offseason is the offense has better timing, steps and non-verbal communication.
"It could be the way a guy leans his shoulder, or the way that he’s going to use his hips to get open or he’s going to put his arm out or [something] as simple as a head nod," Brady said. "There are a lot of those things that you can gain over the course of a long period of time. We are starting at that place now... we’ve got 15 months invested in one another as opposed to three months.
"The more continuity you can have over a long period of time, there are just so many situations that come up over the course of the season that you’re not able to sort through – you’ve got to rely on a lot of past history."
Brady's highlight of the day came at the end of the two-minute drill. He completed a deep pass to Scotty Miller in the corner of the end zone, reminiscent to the one in last season's NFC Championship game.
"Yeah, that was a little déjà vu," Arians said.
Tampa Bay is trying to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl winner since the 2003-04 New England Patriots, which Brady quarterbacked.
The seven-time Super Bowl winner knows how important it is to avoid complacency and stay focused.
“I think the assumption comes from the belief that it will just be exactly like it was last year," Brady said. "I think that’s what you’ve got to not fall into is that, ‘Oh, this is the way it worked last year, so this is the way it will be this year.’ The reality is everything is different. The teams will approach you a little bit differently. You’re kind of the team everyone is watching now, so there are different degrees of expectation."
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