What was even sadder about the Bucs’ 35-7 destruction at the hands of the 49ers in Santa Clara, California in Week 14, quarterback Tom Brady was trying to lead his team and few teammates seemed ready to follow. Tampa Bay fell behind 7-0 early in the first quarter, but appeared to tie the game at 7-7 after the all-time best quarterback connected on a deep bomb with Mike Evans.
But a holding penalty on left tackle Donovan Smith nullified that score and appeared to sink the Bucs’ ship early.
A newly released video from the Buccaneers reveals a microphone that Brady was trying to get his teammates into the group and on the sidelines to rise to the occasion.
“Let’s go, boys,” Brady said. “Let’s answer him right now. It’s gonna be a goddamn dogfight. That’s why the hell we’re here. Let’s go guys. Come on. You want it? You’ve got it. It’s fucking here. If you like football this is where you fucking want to be. Did you understand?”
The Bucs team captain received no verbal feedback or visible support from his teammates in the group during the clip.
Tom Brady was in the know for a big homecoming-type game for him in front of his friends and family.
You can see him desperately trying to get a lifeless team going all game long. The end is just.. 😔 pic.twitter.com/ffzWR8kos2
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 23, 2023
Did The Bucs Knock Out Brady In 49ers Game?
Before Tampa Bay trailed 28-0 at halftime, the QB begged his teammates to keep fighting. Brady was filmed addressing his offensive line on the bench after a drive ended with no points.
“You’ve got to fight,” Brady said. “It’s not going to get any easier all day, is it? So make your move.’
In that clip, center Robert Hainsey and guards Shaq Mason and Nick Leverett all listened intently, eyes fixed on their QB and nodding their heads at what he said. It appeared that backup Josh Wells, filling in for the injured Tristan Wirfs, was also listening in. But Smith sat furthest away and didn’t look at Brady as he spoke.
Were the Bucs players turning down Brady, or were they just dejected about being physically beaten by the 49ers defense?
At the end of the clip, he was seen talking to backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert on the bench. Brady told Gabbert to turn off his microphone – probably in the second half.
“Hey, get this stupid thing off me,” Brady said. “Just scoop it off.”
Brady was clearly upset and disgusted with the outcome of the game and did not want the rest of his communications recorded.
It wasn’t the homecoming the California native had hoped for with a number of friends and relatives in attendance. Still, Brady looked ready for battle all day despite a rough outing.
He finished the game with 34 of 55 passes for 253 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, but was beaten by rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, who was starting his first game. The 49ers rookie quarterback was the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, completing 16 of 21 passes for 185 yards with two touchdowns and one rushing score.
The loss dropped the Bucs to 6-7 this season at that moment. Tampa Bay would finish 8-9 and win the NFC South division, while San Francisco won the NFC West with a 13-4 record. The two teams will face off again in 2023 when the Bucs travel to play the 49ers in Santa Clara.
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