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Todd Bowles: Tom Brady ran the offense well in first day back

Michael Smith and Michael Holley wonder why Tom Brady was away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during some of their preseason.

Tampa Bay’s 45-year-old starting quarterback Tom Brady took an 11-day break during training camp, an unprecedented move for a player whose career in many ways has no precedent. While he didn’t meet with reporters (shocker), others did -- including coach Todd Bowles.

Bowles was asked whether Brady got in a lot of work on his first day back.

“He did,” Bowles said. “He’s very familiar with the offense, so him coming back in and us getting back to work is kind of normal. Just getting used to the heat and getting used to the guys, but he ran the offense well.”

Obviously, Bowles was happy to get Brady back.

“Anytime you have all your guys back you feel good, you know, especially after the injury bug has hit lately,” Bowles said. “We’re happy to have him back. . . . He’s been great. He’s been great, same as when he left. He’s been fine.”

Bowles insisted that the situation wasn’t a distraction for the Bucs.

“We pretty much keep distractions out of our locker room,” Bowles said. “It wasn’t a big deal to us because everybody knew what was going on.”

Maybe everybody in the locker room knew. No one outside the team knew where he was or why he was gone. Regardless, seven Super Bowl rings helps Brady get the benefit of the doubt.

“If anyone can get away with an 11-day break during training camp, it’s Tom,” tight end Cameron Brate told reporters. “He came back firing on all cylinders again today. We are all excited he’s back, and we are ready to move on with that.”

They’ve got 20 days until Week One, when the Bucs visit the Cowboys. If Brady plays well, it’s a non-issue. If he struggles, there will be obvious questions as to whether Brady’s break is to blame.