Bruce Arians: Bucs’ offense comes down to whether “quarterback plays well or not”

USA Today Sports

The season-long dance of the awkward continues between Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians and Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.

The Bucs have won seven games and they have lost four. When they lose, Arians has no qualms about placing blame on Brady, if need be. On Tuesday night, Arians painted with a broader brush.

“[O]ffensively, it’s just a matter of each and every week if the quarterback plays well or not,” Arians said on his weekly radio show, via JoeBucsFan.com. “And our job is to make sure he’s comfortable and let him play well.”

In the same show, Arians said the pass blocking against the Rams was “really, really good.” Arians also reiterated that the interception from Brady that sealed the defeat late in the fourth quarter “was just a poor decision,” that Brady “did not read the coverage properly and threw a poor ball.”

Although Arians has at times made it clear that Brady still needs time and continuity to become fully comfortable in the offense, that sense doesn’t become obvious in sound bites that come off as dumping blame on Brady. At a time when it’s believed that the Buccaneers’ primary objective for the rest of this year is to ensure that Brady will be back for another one (one in which all tickets hopefully will be available for sale), Arians either didn’t get the memo — or he’s not fully on board with the idea.

83 responses to “Bruce Arians: Bucs’ offense comes down to whether “quarterback plays well or not”

  1. Lol if brady was tired of belichick I wonder what he thinks of b.a? The grass isn’t always greener ! He wanted it too be all about him and the tb12 brand b careful what you wish for.

  2. I am a big Brady fan and readily admit at times he has not played well this year, but Ol’ BA should try pointing some of the criticism on himself as the Bucs’ coaching decisions and inability to adjust is abysmal.

    This may go down as one of the greatest wastes of talent ever

  3. Any offense comes down to whether or not the QB plays well. That’s why QB’s make all the money. Did Arians say the same thing when he was negotiating his own contract? Maybe owners should print this out and bring it to the negotiating table the next time they hire a coach.

  4. Some day the consensus opinion will be that Arians has gone too far. Some day people will realize that Arians is much better at dishing out blame than coaching.

  5. I would love to see Brady retire after this season. Then Arians can figure out why his coaching career was mediocre the previous three seasons before Brady.

  6. The Bucs are a mystery to me. As a Patriots fan, I’m used to game plans that adapt to each opponent and for adjustments to be made at halftime. That doesn’t seem to happen with the Bucs. Their game plan is a mystery. Last Sunday was yet another game when the coaches seemed to forget that there is such a thing as a running play.

    Brady definitely made mistakes, but he was hardly alone. Fournette dropped three of four passes that hit him spot on. He’s always been billed as a bulldozer of a runner, but I am seeing that less and less as the season goes on, and he was definitely not a force on Sunday.

    The whole Bucs offense looked tight and uncomfortable throughout the game. I get a sense that Brady is forcing himself to throw down the field even when he has better short options. The last drive is a perfect example. Two-plus minutes to go. That’s Brady time. He has them going down the field, loads of time left, and then he needlessly throws a bomb that is intercepted. Why? Something’s just not right there, and I don’t think it’s just a bad read/bad throw situation. There’s more to it than that, and I think it has to do with coaching.

    I never had a high opinion of Arians, but the more I see the more I think he’s a buffoon, both in his coaching and his press dealings. Brady is his own worst critic, so nothing Arians says about him will bother him, but I doubt many QBs would respond well to being thrown under the bus every week by a guy who has no recognition that his own coaching should be sharing the blame.

  7. Bruce Arians can say what he wants but the NFL is a team game that requires an offensive line to create a pocket for the QB and to enable a running game. Moreover time to pass the ball more than 15 yards when a team is taking away the short passing game. Brady often does not have a pocket to step up into against the better teams. The Patriots had a much better offensive line to help Brady. We all knew that Tampa Bay’s offensive line was suspect. Arians has to accept the truth; His team’s offensive line sucks as it did last season. Rolling out to avoid the rush is an alternative for a Tua in Miami but not for the 43 year old Tom Brady in Tampa.

  8. Brady has long maintained in New England that he will retire when he starts to suck his words. While you expect the first year with a new team to be rougher, and he has had some success nonetheless, those interceptions against the Rams have got to be weighing heavy on Tom Brady. For the first time, when a season is over, he’s going to have to really ask himself if that day has come.

  9. At least there’s no dysfunction going on in Tampa Bay right now. And good of Arians to not deflect blame.

  10. Problem is, Brady played in a dink and donk offense for 19 years, and this offense is predicated on getting the ball down the field. He had no offseason, true training camp, or preseason.

    Also Bruce, with the rules the NFL has in place, all offenses come down to if the QB plays well. If you are smart, you will craft your offense to take advantage of the slot WR, and TEs, which was Tom’s bread and butter. Sometimes, it’s not about your offense, but the man controlling your offense and against good pass-rushing teams, your Offense and Brady aren’t on the same page.

  11. I guess I don’t understand. If the QB makes a bad decision and throws a poor ball is the coach not allowed to say so? That’s an accurate assessment of the facts. Saying the Offense’s success comes down to if the QB plays well is also a fact. It’s a QB driven league. Teams either have a quality QB or they are exhausting all resources to find one. Tom is a big boy and the best ever. He shouldn’t be above an accurate assessment of his play on the local radio show. If you are going to attempt to play until you are 50, you better be able to play. Since last year it looks like Father Time has moments where he’s catching up to Tom. They’re still a good team. Arians’ offense thrives on the deep ball. Tom knew that when he went there. He needs to be able to make the throws. On a couple the other night, he either didn’t or couldn’t. The Coach’s assessment wasn’t out of line.

  12. If Bruce Arians knew any better he would let Tom Brady called the place, and not former bust Byron Leftwich

  13. Bruce Arians is the star exhibit in the Museum of Coaches Who Throw Players Under The Bus. Jack del Rio is sulking because he feels as though he deserves the #1 exhibit, based on his performance in Jacksonville, but Arians keeps out-throwing him.

  14. I don’t think any good can come out of the coach publicly trashing the qb – call me crazy

  15. With all the all-stars on offense, I find it interesting that Brady seems at his best when Scotty Miller is more involved. They should also switch to “looking short first” with more horizontal routes, then mix in a few vertical routes. That’s Brady’s game, getting the ball out quick. If Brady had spent the last 20 years under Arians, he wouldn’t have lasted 20 years. Heck, he won’t last the season if he keeps getting pummeled the way he has against the Giants, Saints and Rams.

  16. This is becoming comic. Every time the Bucs lose Arians gives Brady a big public kick. All the commentators sagely claim that Brady’s a big boy and he can take it but I bet he is fuming.

  17. And people thought the Patriots down year was for not giving Tom that guaranteed $50 million. For those that were paying attention, the signs were there last year. It won’t get any better next year.
    Now – can you imagine Tom’s demeanor with a Patriot receiving corps that is a downgrade from last year?

  18. Brady is on pace for 5k passing yards. Also most Int in his Career. Winston did same thing last year. When does Arians actually point at himself?

  19. Everybody getting upset with Arians for speaking the truth. Brady played like garbage, GOAT or no GOAT. Tommy Boy always got a pass in New England because he usually won but he hasn’t won anything for the Bucs yet so don’t expect the same treatment you got up north. The “experts” can crow all they want about Brady and his abilities but truth is father time has never been beat and its starting to show.

  20. What? So what Bruce is saying is that it is never him that is the problem if they lose, it’s all on the QB and his comfort level.

    I never liked Arians and the more he speaks I like him less and less. The Bucs have the talent to win a title, but I think the head coach will hold them back from that happening until he is gone.

  21. Graham Mooney says:
    November 25, 2020 at 9:07 am
    Brady is on pace for 5k passing yards. Also most Int in his Career. Winston did same thing last year. When does Arians actually point at himself?

    His career high in int’s is 14 he did it twice
    He is currently on pace for 15 so it’s not like it’s some drastically high number.

  22. yeah, sure bruce that and the fact you’re not a good head coach might play into it…

  23. Brady’s best game has never been the long passes. He can occasionally hit them, but is not consistent. The only exception to this was when Randy Moss was with the Patriots. He still seems to be fine with the short to intermediate throws, so it is a puzzle as to why the Bucs insist on going to the long ball so much especially in instances where they don’t need to.

  24. I am amused by the narrative after he left New England. “He was tired of the coach ripping him in meetings in front of the team”. “He wasnt feeling appreciated because of said rippings”. Etc. In 20 years in NE, Belichick never called him out publicly. There were games he didnt play well, but Bill NEVER went that route. So I find it laughable that Tom would be happier getting thrown under the bus by Arians, than to be ripped privately in a film session… But thats just me I guess.

  25. People can say what they will about Belichick,but he never once threw Brady under the bus in 20 years after a loss. It’s always been “we have to do better in all 3 phases of the game.” I wish Brady would finish his career back here in NE. The chemistry with him and Arians is off.

  26. It’s seems almost as if Brady is going down the passive-aggressive route with his play this year. Brady likes short game. Arians wants a few more deep throws. Brady physically seems able to do that if he wants or needs to, and certainly has the receivers, but doesn’t like to be told what to do.

    So, deep throw is called by Arians. Brady, in a fit of petulance, intentionally blows it to get Arians to stop telling him what to do. So what if it costs game. Got to teach the man who is really in control here.

    You would think Brady would have more pride in his play but his ego and control freak nature just get in the way.

    Or, I suppose, he’s just getting old and is incapable of making the throws.

  27. Arians is such a bum! Buddy Ryan on the offensive side of the ball!

    Great leaders do not publicly criticize individual members of their team…[see Belichick, Bill].

  28. “Heck, he won’t last the season if he keeps getting pummeled the way he has against the Giants, Saints and Rams.”
    —————————————————————————————–
    The way a lot of otherwise excellent quarterbacks spend much of their career. But you’re right!

  29. It’s been a few years since Brady had a good, reliable deep ball. His interceptions on deep passing attempts are not surprising to Pats’ fans.

    We get to watch Cam throwing deep much better than Brady can. But the Pats have the opposite problem: Cam doesn’t run the short passing game anywhere near as well as Brady can.

    This would be less of a problem if coaches tailored their offenses to their QB’s strengths. Arians is asking Brady to do something that’s not realistic for who he is now. And Brady is far too proud to admit the basic problem.

    I understand that Arians has his offensive concept, and thinks that any QB should be able to make deep throws consistently. But maybe that’s not realistic? As others have repeatedly pointed out, Arians’ QBs tend to have very high INT numbers, and it doesn’t matter which one we’re talking about.

  30. This would be true if it weren’t for the fact that in the losses they’ve had there have been major defensive and special teams issues, and predictable play calling on offense resulting in bad situations for any QB. Sure, if Brady plays at his best he can make up for any other deficiencies, but if your entire success as a team comes down to the QB playing well than that says a lot about your ability (or lack thereof) as a coach.

  31. It’s the same story for every team and in Tampa’s situation they’re starting a quarterback who’s starting to slip. Father time does that.

  32. If TB12 is a turnover waiting to happen in Bruce Arians offense then a young QB has no chance. Bruce Arians offense is a high risk, high reward passing attack, and has always been. Bruce Arians offense doesn’t take what a defense gives it but rather will try to force the issue this is why Jameis Winston had 30 INTs last season and Carson Palmer had 22 INTs in his first season in Bruce Arians offense. TB12 at 43 years old is not a deep ball QB who can stretch the field with his arm. Tampa could be a dominant offense if it had a balanced offense.

  33. If they don’t make the playoffs and then both Brady and Arians retire, it would be so Tampa. The franchise is cursed.

  34. Ouch, Bruce!

    Nothing like repeated doses of brutal honesty to instill confidence in your frail so-called quarterback.

    Of course it’s easy place blame on Tommy and the team.

    “As a collective, everybody has got to play better” you said after the Rams loss.

    What you didn’t say was a single word about how you and your coaching staff have to coach better.

    The seeds of an unhappy ending have been planted by you week by week. I foresee a mutiny taking root.

    How appropriate for a team called the Buccaneers.

  35. I do think Brady’s best days as a QB are behind (time catches up to all of us) he has still accomplished more than Bruce Ariens has and ever will. Talk about coaches that run their mouths, all the catchy slogans and BS that comes from his mouth. And throwing his players under the bus. Never have I ever heard Ariens accept responsibility for himself. Anyone remember how awful he was an an announcer? I’m sure he would blame his broadcasting partner or the microphone or the broadcast booth was too hot or cold. This clown has an excuse for everything. Average coach who has coached well beyond his coaching expectancy. Here is an Arienism for you Bruce, “you know you reap what you sow, so maybe it is time to go.”

  36. Arians signed a QB that thrives in the short game that Tampa doesn’t play and TB12 signed on to a long pass-happy system and is struggling. The blame pie is cut right down the middle.

  37. MortimerInMiami says:
    November 25, 2020 at 7:29 am
    Bucs should have stayed with Winston, Brady is not good this year.
    —-
    After 11 games:

    Tom Brady 2020: 25 TD, 9 INT, 2,955 yards, 95.0 rating. Team 7-4
    Jameis Winston 2019: 22 TD, 20 INT, 3,391 yards, 82.3 rating. 4-7

    Brady has had a couple of rough games but overall he’s doing well
    After they started 0-1 they won 6 out of 7 he had 15tds and 3 int. In that stretch.

  38. I swear to god if I read some moron saying the Bucs offensive line is terrible one more time…Brady had adequate time to throw all night. He was hurried only 5 times against that vaunted defensive front. Aaron Donald had his first career ZERO stat line game, you know who was blocking him most of the snaps? One on one I might add? Tristan Wirfs. Who may be on his way to being the second offensive lineman in history to be an all-pro his rookie year. Don’t come with some terrible takes if you have watched maybe 2 Bucs games all year. Their offensive line is fine. Brady is making bad reads. Period. Accept it

  39. I see. Offensive line play means nothing and coaching is always right: it’s the quarterback who failed. Nor is it the coach who continues to bring in players other teams have discarded and uses them to the detriment of the players who were already there.

  40. Works both ways Bruce, and it’s not just the quarterback. The coach has to call the right plays to put the quarterback in a position to be successful, and the O line has to do their job and give the quarterback time. The receivers have to get open, and in the end the quarterback has to see everything and make the throw. So yea Brady threw a bad ball at the end, but why did your defense give up so many points Bruce? Me thinks Bruce has a bad habit of putting all the blame everywhere else but on himself and his coaching staff

  41. Think Tom is yearning for the days of having a hard driving coach yet one who never gives the media ammo and never publicly throws his players under the bus?

  42. Lots to not like about Arian’s coaching and bedside manner relative to TB12, but wow, he is all kinds of stupid if he thinks Gisele isn’t reading it all and throwing in her two cents privately.

  43. Another direct slam from BA to Sir Thomas. The GOAT’S numbers, support the Coach!

    What “numbers “ are you referring ?

    Tom Brady 2020: 25 TD and 2 rushing (3-1 td to int ratio) 4th in the league , 9 INT, 2,955 4th in the league yards, 95.0 rating

    These are the main stats EVERYONE Looks at when it comes to QB play.

  44. Brady’s had a remarkable career. He’s not in his prime, though. Every QB loses a few miles off the fastball at the end of their career(Peyton, Brees, Favre). Father time, unfortunately, is undefeated. That being said good luck to TB12!

  45. warnings were out, popcorn ready

    lmao

    Where are all the Brady Fanboys and all fhe “weapons”?

    Brady chose this. Chose it. Lol!!

  46. Jerry MacDaid says:
    November 25, 2020 at 9:36 am
    It’s seems almost as if Brady is going down the passive-aggressive route with his play this year. Brady likes short game. Arians wants a few more deep throws. Brady physically seems able to do that if he wants or needs to, and certainly has the receivers, but doesn’t like to be told what to do.

    So, deep throw is called by Arians. Brady, in a fit of petulance, intentionally blows it to get Arians to stop telling him what to do. So what if it costs game. Got to teach the man who is really in control here.

    You would think Brady would have more pride in his play but his ego and control freak nature just get in the way.

    Or, I suppose, he’s just getting old and is incapable of making the throws.

    1 2 Rate This

    ——————-

    Last year, Albie Breer called those kinds of throws “F it” throws.

    Nice, huh? It’s so obvious Brady mentally checks out and doesn’t care when he takes the cheese after a D sets the trap all annoyed it’s not like 2007 for him, he literally has a meltdown during the game like Spaulding Smails at the hotdog stand.

    This is the 3rd year in a row I’ve seen it.

  47. This coming from a guy who has never won anything and whose quarterbacks ALWAYS end up with a ton of interceptions. His system breeds INTs because every route is way down the field and there’s no checkdowns.

  48. Yeah, they run 18 times for 42 yards, and the QB is the only problem. That’s how stupid this guy is getting to be.

    Looks like Arians is trying to cover for his own deficiencies because he has a team loaded with talent that has looked bad numerous times. Even in their wins, this team does not look prepared.

  49. Bruce Ariens doesn’t remotely have the coaching resume to call out Tom Brady publicly. It’s a joke. It’s embarrassing more for Ariens than Brady because he’s never been in the same league as him success-wise. Take ownership of your own coaching or lack thereof – look in the mirror. Belichick does routinely.

    Brady is 43 with a lot of mental and arm skill left. If you keep him in the pocket and clean with intermediate options and a running back who can catch like James White, you will win a bunch of games. Watching him throw this year, I have not seen a drop off in speed and touch. The long ball is not his thing and especially not outside the pocket on the run.

    Belichick is a million times better than this guy and the Brady/Belichick Wonder Twins thing was unbelievable to behold all those years. The greatest synergy in focus and winning we’ve ever seen.

  50. Maybe BA should spend less time on radio shows and more time coaching up his offensive line. I’ve seen room temperature butter with more toughness than that group.

  51. Tom Brady has 6 rings and 9 Super Bowl appearances, including some of the greatest comebacks in the history of the sport. Arians has zero Super Bowl appearances as a Head Coach and his QBs always throw a tons of picks. I’m backing Brady, not the guy riding his coattails in his last coaching gig.

  52. What is simply astounding is it appears like Arians hasn’t adjusted a single thing with his offense to maximize Brady’s strengths. If you can’t mold your system to your players’ strengths you’re going to eventually fail. Brady excels at the short to intermediate throws and he’s not a scrambler so he’s going to take a ton of hits unless the offense gets the ball away quickly. And with their O-line having issues they’d greatly benefit by mixing in some runs and misdirection to keep the defense off balance instead of just letting the D meet at the QB on every single play.

  53. Arians sounds like a bitter old man that blames everyone but himself.

    1st It was Roethlisberger, it was Luck, it was Palmer,
    it was Jameis ( probably was Jameis) now it’s Brady.

    Personally it’s him and Leftwich.

    They have 40 plus year old QB and are trying to drop back and pass 40 times a game. How bout running the ball to set up that pass Bruce!!!

  54. turkeycreekjackjohnson says:
    November 25, 2020 at 11:54 am
    Bruce Ariens doesn’t remotely have the coaching resume to call out Tom Brady publicly. It’s a joke. It’s embarrassing more for Ariens than Brady because he’s never been in the same league as him success-wise. Take ownership of your own coaching or lack thereof – look in the mirror. Belichick does routinely.

    Brady is 43 with a lot of mental and arm skill left. If you keep him in the pocket and clean with intermediate options and a running back who can catch like James White, you will win a bunch of games. Watching him throw this year, I have not seen a drop off in speed and touch. The long ball is not his thing and especially not outside the pocket on the run.

    Belichick is a million times better than this guy and the Brady/Belichick Wonder Twins thing was unbelievable to behold all those years. The greatest synergy in focus and winning we’ve ever seen.

    ________________

    Great comment.
    Difficult situation for Brady. Not much help from the head coach and the ground game. Brady should put aside the deep ball, forget about Arians, concentrate on the shallow zones and the perimeters in the passing game. This will generate a couple of situations where he’ll have a receiver wide open deep anyway.
    And by the way, I just hope the offense will start their first drive with something else than Jones in the middle for 2 yards or less… for a change

  55. Arians, Bill O’Brien and Hue Jackson. I could never figure out how any of them got coaching jobs.

  56. This isn’t news that Tom Brady doesn’t throw the ball downfield well or play well when he gets hit. He’s been this way his whole career. Just watch the two Giants Superbowls for proof he’s afraid to take a hit.

  57. Just to be clear, in the first 7 games, Brady had the second best stats in NFL on throws over 20 yards. Something is going on – could be that Marpet has been out.

  58. A few thoughts.

    1 Brady is a horrible fit for Arians and Arians can’t adjust. Brady’s weakness is the long ball so what does Arian call?
    2 Arians has always been way overrated as a coach. All bluster.
    3 TB is not a great team. They will likely be one and done in the playoffs. If you swapped them with SF in the NFC West they’d be in last place.
    4 In fact, Brady didn’t go to SF, a much better fit, because he was afraid of playing in the NFC West.
    5 Brady should have considered Colts more heavily.
    6 Tom’s finding it’s harder to play QB when your coach hasn’t stolen the other teams defensive plays.

  59. Arians came to Tampa as the great QB guru who was going to fix former overall #1 pick Jameis Winston. Winston has as much talent as any QB, he just lacked coaching, or so it was said when Arians was brought in and signed a big money deal. Arians failed at that, so he brought in six time super bowl winning Tom Brady. Now, after all those paychecks have been deposited in Arians’ account, he’s finally admitting that the success of the coach actually has nothing to do with coaching. It’s all the QB. Or at least that’s what he says after a loss. Lol. Makes me think Bruse should have run for president.

  60. Brady needs Scotty Miller on the field every down… Scotty is his go-to guy under pressure, everyone can see that… except for “Know it All” Bruce Arians…. Wake Up Bruce… Fit the scheme to the players… Otherwise you will be just another failure like Matt Patricia…

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