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Brady, Bucs eager to get to work, defend Super Bowl title

LAST YEAR: With Tom Brady excelling despite not having a normal offseason and training camp to prepare for his first season with a new team, the Bucs shrugged off a three-game losing streak that dropped them to 7-5. They won eight straight down the stretch to end a 13-year playoff drought and become the first team to play and win a Super Bowl in its home stadium. It was Tampa Bay’s second NFL title, the seventh for Brady, who’ll turn 44 during camp this summer.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: LB Joe Tryon, OL Robert Hainsey, RB Giovani Bernard.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: None.

CAMP NEEDS: Coach Bruce Arians felt it took 12 games for Brady to become totally comfortable with the Bucs’ offense, which flourished after a Week 13 bye. The defense, led by linebackers Lavonte David, Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul, peaked at the right time, too, capping an impressive postseason run with victories over Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. Arians believes both units will be better with the team have a full training camp to prepare to defend its title.

EXPECTATIONS: Last year was Super Bowl or bust after signing Brady in free agency and adding offensive playmakers Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette and Antonio Brown to an already talent-laden roster. The approach hasn’t changed, with Arians and general manager Jason Licht defying the odds of keeping the band together by placing the franchise tag on receiver Chris Godwin, signing David and Barrett to new deals and finding ways to create enough salary cap space to retain Gronkowski, Fournette, Brown and defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh.
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