Last year, Tom Brady came out onto the field for the first drive of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ preseason.

That won’t happen this year, though.

No, it doesn’t have to do with anything regarding the latest findings from the NFL’s tampering investigation into the Miami Dolphins (the Dolphins just so happen to play Tampa Bay in Week 1 of the preseason next week).

It has everything to do with Todd Bowles’ decision to hold Brady -as well as other starters- out of the game.

“There will be a lot of starters that won’t play in that game,” Bowles told reporters Wednesday. “They’ll get plenty of work in practice, though. The two practices we’ll get to, we’ll play similar to a game for those guys. We wanna see some of the younger guys play that I’ve mentioned and kinda build our depth a little bit and go from there.”

“He will not play,” Bowles later added when asked specifically if Brady would be held out of the matchup with the Dolphins.

It makes a ton of sense for Bowles to hold the key players and majority of starters out of the first preseason game. It’s extremely likely the Dolphins do the same. The two joint practices that will be held on August 10 and 11 will be very physical – both in the actual aspect and the mental aspect. Asking players to play -especially veterans- in a meaningless game is simply a terrible idea.

And when you add in the fact the Buccaneers have the league’s oldest roster at 27.2 years old, it makes more sense. Even if that average has one of the oldest players propping it up a bit.

It’s a smart approach, even if it seems basic. Good habit lead to better habits, at the end of the day.

The Buccaneers travel to Nashville the following to participate in joint practices with the Tennessee Titans, so don’t expect any starters to play in Week 2, either.

You can check out Bowles’ entire presser, below:

Featured image via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports