TAMPA BAY – Every single player that’s ever played with Tom Brady can tell you that if you don’t bring your best, you’re gonna be in trouble.

And when Brady is your teammate, that’s not a place you want to be.

But, that’s why the seven-time Super Bowl champion has had such unparalleled success throughout his time in the NFL. It’s hard to find a player who demands more, but also executes better than anyone that’s played the game.

As a result, he expects no less than the best from his teammates, as well.

Therefore, Brady didn’t shy away from what he expects out of Buccaneers receiver Russell Gage, who was acquired back in March via free agency.

“He has to have a big year,” Brady told reporters Thursday. “We signed him to a contract and he’s gotta come in and do a great job. From the time I spent with him, I really enjoy it and I think he’s gotta great opportunity. For an offense that throws the ball as much as we do, you need a lot of good receivers….

“It’s a very competitive room and I think Russ, when he’s out there, there’s a lot of work that needs to go into the next six weeks [in order] to be ready.”

Brady’s right: Gage does need to have a big year. Especially when considering that the Buccaneers’ No. 2 option at receiver, Chris Godwin, may not be fully recovered from his torn ACL by Week 1. Gage has a versatile skillset that allows him to line up all over the offense, much like Godwin.

Meaning, the Buccaneers are going to count on Gage in a big, big way in 2022.

And like Brady said, Gage can’t afford to drop the ball.

You can check out Brady’s full press conference, below:

Featured image via Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports