"I don't think he was 100 percent last year," Christensen said, relaying a conversation he had with Brady the morning after the Bucs won Super Bowl LV. "His quote, or close to a quote was, 'Hey, I'm gonna get my knee fixed up and I'm gonna be better next year and you're gonna be excited about that.'
"Performance-wise, you wanna feel good. I think that thing was a nagging nuisance to him, having to tape it every day, just make sure he had that thing loose. So I think he's excited about just feeling good again."
Brady underwent surgery earlier this offseason and was cleared two weeks ago to resume throwing, which he has done on his own in private workouts with teammates. He has not taken part in OTAs, so the coaching staff won't get to see Brady until the team reports Monday for minicamp, with practices scheduled for June 8-10.
Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, however, said he and coach Bruce Arians have been in "constant contact" with Brady to get updates on the knee.
Brady posted an Instagram video earlier this week of him throwing and running without a knee brace, which is unusual considering he has worn the sleeve for years -- in practice, games, playing pickup basketball, golfing and even on his yacht after the Super Bowl parade.
Even if Brady has shed the brace, Arians said Tuesday that, as a precaution, it's possible Brady assumes more of a coaching role for minicamp.
"I don't know how much I'll let him do ... with guys chasing him around," Arians said. "We'll see. We'll see what the doctors say. He may be doing a lot of coaching."
The Bucs also are in the process of finalizing details for a private Super Bowl ring ceremony that will take place in Tampa on July 22, sources confirmed to ESPN. Owners, front office members, players, coaches and support staff all received invitations to the red carpet event, which will take place just prior to the reporting date for training camp.