‘Hey, is this Tom?’ Brate starstruck by Brady

Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (84) beats Indianapolis Colts free safety Malik Hooker (29) after a catch during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The initial interaction between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ tight end, Cameron Brate, and his new quarterback, Tom Brady, could not have been scripted any better.

Brate received a text message from an unknown number.

“Hey, this is Tom. Give me a FaceTime when you can.”

Could “Tom” be Tom Brady? Brate had his suspicions so he sent text messages to two of his teammates, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, for “double confirmation.” He correctly assumed the two of them had previously communicated with Brady because they will be his primary receiving targets this season.

“I had to reach out to Chris and Mike,” said Brate, “and be like, ‘Hey, is this Tom?’ because I did not want to be calling some random dude thinking it was Tom Brady or whatever.”

Brate eventually saved that phone number.

“Yes,” he said, “he has just been awesome to work with and we still kind of got to pinch ourselves with the fact that we have him at quarterback and kind of everything that goes along with it. Everyone here is just super pumped.”

The feeling of being in awe of the “GOAT” slammed into Brate the first time he met Brady face to face.

“The first time we actually threw with him, I mean, yes, I was definitely starstruck,” he said. “You know, a little bit but, as soon as we got to start throwing and talking football, it was very natural. He has just got a great demeanor about him, kind of the way he leads, and the way he talks about the game. It is really easy to understand in that regard.”

Brate recalled his admiration for Brady, who entered the league before Brate had reached a double digit birthday. He said he can picture Brady on the field in his earliest memories of the National Football League.  

“He was someone I just looked up to,” said Brate, “the way he took care of himself, the way he prepared for the game, his passion for the game.”

Now, Brate will be able to experience that passion in person for, hopefully, a minimum of 16 games.

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