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Eli Manning believes Tom Brady’s first season with Bucs will be ‘tough’

There has been unsurprisingly no shortage of speculation concerning how the second chapter of Tom Brady’s career will play out with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Count Eli Manning in the camp that believes things won’t go as smoothly for Brady in Tampa as many have been predicting.

Manning joined SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday and among the topics the retired New York Giants quarterback addressed was Brady’s stunning departure from the New England Patriots after two decades and six Super Bowl wins.

What’s more, Manning — who was “surprised” by his fellow QB’s decision — believes Brady might be in for a bumpy ride in his debut season with the Bucs. That perception is reinforced due to how the coronavirus pandemic has put a halt to any efforts by Brady to acclimate himself to his new organization and teammates.

“I think it’s gonna be tough for him, just the fact he can’t be doing everything he wants to be doing with the team and getting ready,’’ Manning said Monday, as transcribed by Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “Obviously they have some playmakers at receiver there, when you got talented receivers it makes it a little bit easier to get on the same page with ’em.

“It will be interesting how it all plays out and how quickly he can just adjust to a new organization and new players and new offense, all those new things, especially with the limited timing he’s gonna have being with them.’’

Brady is coming off a disappointing season — at least according to his standards — in 2019, although much of his struggles can be attributed to the Pats’ subpar talent at the team’s skill positions. That being said, Brady will be 43 whenever the 2020 NFL season kicks off, and as is often stated, Father Time is undefeated in such situations.

It’s obviously unclear at this time amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak if and when training camps will be held. The NFL has already instituted a virtual offseason policy, which further prevents Brady from much-needed on-field reps in a Bucs offense that has an abundance of weapons in the passing game, including Brady’s longtime teammate, Rob Gronkowski.

However things ultimately shake out for Brady and the Bucs, expect things in Tampa to be among the most heavily chronicled storylines of the 2020 NFL season.