Cameron Brate talks coronavirus pandemic, Tom Brady signing
With many of the world’s sports leagues put on an indefinite hold while the health community deals with the coronavirus pandemic, one league that has perhaps been the least impacted is the NFL. Free agency, scouting and draft preparations have all been altered, but the league has not yet lost any games scheduled.
But how have players had their offseason routines been changed to deal with the current circumstances? To dig into that, Sports Illustrated sat down with Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate to discuss how he’s been spending his offseason time, how he’s adjusted his schedule and his reaction to the team signing Tom Brady in free agency.
“Sadly it’s really not too different,” Brate said of his offseason routine. “You know, usually just try and get the workout in the morning and you know. I’m a homeowner now within the past year, so try to take care of some chores around the house, hang out with the dog.”
In his sixth season with Tampa Bay, Brate had 36 receptions for 311 yards and four touchdowns. Despite reports that Brady was seriously considering the Bucs in the days leading up to his eventual decision, Brate didn’t necessarily believe them until the six-time Super Bowl champion’s decision became official.
“I was honestly pretty surprised,” Brate said. “I figured he would stay up in New England or maybe go to L.A., but didn’t really think he’d end up in Tampa. Obviously, his resume speaks for itself. I’m a huge football fan, so I’ve watched him play for the past 20 years and he’s kind of been one of the guys I’ve looked up to. To hopefully be on the receiving end of some passes from him this year is going to be pretty surreal, and I’m really looking forward to that opportunity.”
He and fellow tight end O.J. Howard have combined for 28 touchdown passes as teammates over the past three years, and the pair is looking forward to working with Brady once the season begins.
“Back when I was in college was, when they had [Rob Gronkowski] and [Aaron] Hernandez working together as the two tight ends, I got to kind of watch that firsthand,” Brate said. “Hopefully, with (Brady) at quarterback for us, we’ll get the tight ends a little more involved this year, and me and O.J. are definitely fired up to be part of it.”