Sports | November 14, 2022 11:48 am

Tom Brady Tried to Call Off Wide Receiver Play But It Was Too Late

Brady, 45, continues to look for the first receiving touchdown of his 23-year career

Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany.
Tom Brady has yet to lose a game outside of the United States.
Sebastian Widmann/Getty

Of all the things Tom Brady can excel at on the football field, catching passes is not one of them.

That’s already been shown over the course of the 45-year-old’s career, but more evidence was offered Sunday when Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich had Brady line up as a receiver with the Bucs leading the Seattle Seahawks 14-3 midway through the third quarter in the NFL’s first regular-season game played in Germany.

With Brady serving as an outside receiver, tailback Leonard Fournette took a direct snap and rolled right before throwing across the field toward his quarterback. The ill-advised pass never had a prayer of being completed and was picked off by rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen as Brady fell to the ground trying to move toward the ball. Brady was able to make the tackle with his legs and was then correctly penalized 10 yards for tripping Woolen.

Afterward, with Tampa Bay on the winning side of a 21-16 final score, Brady admitted he tried to get Fournette to hold off on the play but was unable to communicate the message in time. “They said ‘Cover him! Cover him!’ and I was on the sideline and tried to yell, ‘Lenny, no!’ But it was too late, and the ball went up in the air and I was trying to just, whatever, jump up and knock it down. But I ended up falling on my face,” Brady told the Tampa Bay Times. “Unfortunately, that cornerback is a former college receiver who jumps a lot higher than me and is much more athletic.”

Despite the botched play, the Bucs were able to leave Germany with a much-needed win and now head into their bye week at 5-5 residing in first place in the NFC South. In a conference that appears to be open for the taking, Tampa Bay has as good a shot as anyone at making a Super Bowl run for the second time in three seasons.

Now 4-0 in games played outside of the United States after having previously won twice in London and once in Mexico City, Brady is the first quarterback to pick up regular-season NFL wins in four different countries. He’s also 15-5 coming off bye weeks over the course of his career so the Browns, who play Tampa after Thanksgiving, should watch out.

“This is a very important game for us,” Brady said prior to Sunday’s win. “We have a bye week after this. It gives you a chance to kind of evaluate where you’re at and I’d much rather evaluate being 5-5 than being 4-6. We’ve got to just win this game and it’ll take care of that.”

Mission accomplished.