The days following Tampa Bay’s latest loss included multiple comments from multiple members of the coaching staff that seemed, in totality, to shift blame from the coaching staff for offensive struggles (specifically with the deep ball) to quarterback Tom Brady.
On Friday, Brady met with reporters via video conference. Although none of the questions submitted drilled down to the perception/reality that coach Bruce Arians and, to a lesser extent, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich are blaming Brady, the overall struggles of the offense came up in a more indirect way.
Brady was asked, for example, whether the lack of success on potential game-winning drives comes from the shortened offseason and lack of reps with teammates on offense.
“Our job is to get the job done,” Brady replied, “so there’s no excuses for when we don’t get it done. At the end of the day, that’s the reality of the sport. It’s a production-based business, and when you have opportunities like we had in those two games, it’s very disappointing when you don’t [succeed], especially when you’re the quarterback and the ball is in your hands. It’s something I have to do a better job of.”
Brady didn’t try to blame the coaching staff or anyone else. He shouldered the responsibility for his own failures, without pulling anyone else’s flaws into the discussion.
Brady also was asked about issues with connecting on deep throws against the Rams.
“Just not executing at the highest level,” Brady said. “I don’t think it’s more than that. I think we didn’t execute on some short throws [and] we didn’t execute on some medium throws. Just comes down to not as good execution as I think we’re capable of. We’re working hard to improve it and we’ll go out there and try and do a much better job this week.”
Again, no excuses. No effort to suggest that the coaching staff didn’t devise the right game plan or suggest the right plays. No mention of teammates not getting open or failing to catch passes that could have been caught.
Still, it would be nice to know what Brady thinks of the fact that Arians and Leftwich didn’t exercise similar discretion this week. At a time when some are suggesting that the struggles come from the team trying to get Brady to run an offense that he’s not comfortable running, the coaching staff has made it clear that Brady is the offense. Brady, to his credit, is acting that way, without trying to blame anyone else — even though there’s a good chance that there’s plenty of blame to go around.