In his first year in Tampa Bay after 20 seasons in New England, Tom Brady helped the Buccaneers hoist a Lombardi Trophy by winning eight straight games to close the season.
The campaign, however, wasn't flawless. It took time for the G.O.A.T. to learn a new system and build a rapport with new teammates.
Even as coach Bruce Arians consistently noted that Brady took ownership of the offense and helped insert plays he liked, it still took time for the 43-year-old quarterback to adjust before the offense hit its stride.
Brady recently told the HODINKEE Radio podcast that the transition to the new playbook wasn't seamless.
"Midway through the year, I was still trying to figure out how to call the plays," Brady said via JoeBucsFan.com. "I just read [the plays] off my wristband and tried to visualize what was going to happen.
"It's like learning a completely new language. You've spoken English for 20 years and someone goes, 'Hey man, let's speak some Spanish.' And you are like, 'Huh? That makes no sense to my brain.'"
The COVID-19 pandemic made Brady's life no easier, as it wiped out most organized offseason work with coaches and didn't allow players to build natural chemistry and trust off the field.
"So it took a long time for people to get to know one another," Brady said. "Much longer than normal. The last six weeks of the year, wow, we really started hitting our stride. We gained a lot of confidence in one another. It was a really unique experience, one that I hope I never, ever have to go through again, but I think we made the best of it."
Brady moving to Tampa and immediately leading the Bucs to a Super Bowl victory will go down in sports lore. Included in the story will be the wonky start to the season, which involved a three-interception performance from Brady in a Week 9 thrashing at the hands of the rival Saints.
From that low point, Brady and the Bucs rose, streaking into the postseason. In the final eight victories, including four in the postseason, the Bucs offense never generated fewer than 303 yards and averaged 413 yards with 33.88 points per contest.
With the whole crew returning in 2021, Brady and the Bucs are expected to pick up where they left off.