Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are having their share of growing pains in their first season together.
The question is if the growing pains are bringing them together or tearing them apart.
Though the Bucs are 7-5, the offense has sputtered.
And everyone has an opinion whose fault that is.
NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks suggests that some of the blame lies with Tom Brady.
He also says that the Bucs and Arians have “buyer’s remorse” for the 2 year $50 million contract they tendered to Brady.
“I hope Bruce Arians and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers kept their receipts on the Tom Brady purchase, seeing how the head coach appears to have a bit of buyer’s remorse,” Brooks pondered on NFL.com. “Arians’ critical comments on his offense’s recent struggles reveal a lot about how he views his 43-year-old quarterback’s play.”
1. Play calling has now been turned over to Brady.
Arians has taken his share of heat for trying to run an offense that is counter to what Brady excels at.
Big deep throws and Arians’ famous “no risk it no biscuit” mantra is not how the Brady/Belichick teams won those Super Bowls.
Bruce Arians, to me last night, on Tom Brady: "He picks all the plays now. We call what he picks. We just have to get better. He's getting more comfortable every week. We're getting close." (Note: Arians was upbeat about Brady's skillset. This is a process.) More on The Aftermath
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) November 30, 2020
If Brady is calling the plays, then it is on him that if the play selected and/or the execution of it is failing.
Arians has been publicly critical of Brady several times this season, and Brooks believes he is right in blaming Brady particularly now that Brady is calling the plays.
2. Receivers are open.
This is another critique Arians has hurled Brady’s way.
“We’ve got the guys open. We’ve just missed ’em. There are times when coverage dictates you go to that guy. I think we can do a better job of utilizing the deep ball in our game plan. … But when they’re there, we need to hit ’em. We can’t have ’em going off our fingertips and we can’t overthrow ’em…Other than the deep ball, I think he’s getting confused a few times with coverage that might be causing some inaccurate balls, but I don’t see it at all in practice. We’re not missing the deep ball in practice, that’s for sure, so it’s just a matter of, on Sundays, hitting ’em.”
Is Brady confused?
No one really knows the true story except those inside the locker room.
3. What We Know
- Brady spent 20 years with a team and offense he was very comfortable with.
- He switched teams for the first time in his career in a COVID-19 abbreviated preseason.
- Brady is all about preparation, and he didn’t have much on-the-field time with these receivers to build chemistry.
- Arians is notorious for wanting to throw deep, and first year QBs in his offense put up career-high interceptions.
- This talk of “buyer’s remorse” on the part of the Bucs and Arians is baffling; there is 20 years of NFL film that shows what Brady does best.
Bruce Arians was blessed with a lot of talented QBs to work with.
He got them all to throw a lot of INTs in their first year in his system. pic.twitter.com/E1zdd6pJiP
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 29, 2020
At 7-5, it is time to manage and fix the problems.
This week’s bye week is the perfect time to refine the offense.
If they aren’t sure how to do it, plenty of former players turned media types have suggestions.
Tony Romo with some educational insights into the problems Tom Brady has with Bruce Arians offense – not enough pre-snap motion, no run game or play-action – none of the things that make it easier to play QB.
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) November 29, 2020
The Bucs are the 6th seed in the NFC playoff rankings so all is not lost.
Arians and Brady have won Super Bowls separately; it’s hard to believe they can’t figure this out together.NEXT: Teddy Bruschi Sounds Off On Bucs Coach Bruce Arians