If you were surprised by Tom Brady’s decision to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you’re not the only one, so was Peyton Manning. The former Colts and Broncos quarterback thought for sure that no matter what Brady did, it would involve staying in the AFC, but Brady ended up going the opposite route.
During a SportsCenter interview on Sunday, Manning revealed that he was a “little bit surprised” that Brady ended up signing with an NFC team.
“That was interesting,” Manning said of Brady’s decision. “I’m a little surprised he jumped over to the NFC. I always see Tom Brady as an AFC guy, so he’s going to have to go through initiation to learn the ropes of the NFC, but they got a great team around him, it sounds like.”
After spending the past 20 years playing in one of the NFL‘s weakest divisions, Brady is now headed to one of the league’s most difficult divisions. Three of the four teams in the division have played in at least one NFC title game over the past five years, and the only team that hasn’t made it that far in the playoffs is the team that Brady plays for.
“He’s got a tough division,” Manning said. “I don’t think the Saints and the Falcons and the Panthers are going to just let the Bucs kind of roll into town, so it should make for some interesting divisional games and match-ups.”
One reason Manning likes the decision Brady made is that the former Patriots quarterback will be coached by a staff in Tampa that Manning is highly familiar with. Not only has Manning worked with Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians — who was the Colts QB coach from 1998-2000 — but the Bucs also have Clyde Christensen and Tom Moore, who were both key members of the Colts offensive coaching staff during Manning’s best years in Indianapolis. Both men were on the sideline as assistant coaches for each of the Colts two Super Bowl appearances with Manning.
“Bruce Arians was my quarterbacks coach in that rookie season and my first few years in the NFL,” Manning said. “Tom Moore — my offensive coordinator — is down there. Clyde Christensen [is down there]. Tom is going down to get coached by some guys that I’m very familiar with, guys that know football, that love football. Everybody knows how hard he’s going to work.”
Manning didn’t make any predictions on how Brady’s season might turn out, but he clearly seems to like Brady’s chances of having some success in Tampa due to the coaching staff that the Bucs have. If Brady can lead the Buccaneers to the postseason, it will mark the first time since 2007 that Tampa has made the playoffs, which is the longest drought without a playoff berth in the NFC and the second-longest in the NFL.
During the lengthy interview on SportsCenter, Manning also shared some advice that he gave to Joe Burrow, and.