TAMPA -- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady took a physical pounding in Friday night's 30-28 loss to the Buccaneers, with one early play setting the tone.
Trailing 7-0 and with the ball at the New England 15, Brady dropped back to pass midway through the first quarter. The pass was never delivered. Instead, Brady was delivered into the turf by defensive end Michael Bennett, who raced around right tackle Marcus Cannon.
The ball came free, and Patriots fans back home held their collective breath.
“It was just hold[ing] on to the ball too long," Brady said of the play. "Brandon [Lloyd] was starting to work away from the coverage and they just got me as I was throwing the ball. Have to try to eliminate those and try to eliminate turnovers, they certainly kill us. Those just aren’t very good plays."
The Patriots were fortunate on that play, as fullback Spencer Larsen recovered. But they weren't as fortunate on the next play, as Brady had a pass tipped by Ronde Barber and returned 22 yards for a touchdown by safety Mark Barron.
Asked if the struggles reminded him of last year's third preseason game against the Lions, Brady spoke from a big-picture perspective.
"I think the point is that we have to do things a lot better. It’s every position. It’s every player. We all have to do a better job at our job," he said. "If we all individually do that, collectively we’ll be better at it. Hopefully we can put together a good week and go down to the Giants and play a good game [Wednesday] and get us prepared for our opener.”
As for all the hits he took Friday night, Brady wasn't looking for any sympathy.
“It’s a physical sport and your body calluses up over the course of the preseason, and that’s why you train all offseason," he said. "You get hit and you have to wake up and get back at it the next day.”