Speaking to Tracy Wolfson of CBS in advance of Sunday’s Chiefs-Bucs game, Arians did his best Marie Barone impersonation.
“It’s not criticism, it’s honesty,” Arians said regarding his honest criticism of Brady.
Arians and Brady separately told Wolfson that the two men have a good relationship. But what else would they say? “I hate his guts”?
Speaking to Mike Silver of NFL Media, Arians shed more light on the perceived/actual tension between the Tampa Bay hold-the-ball, no risk it/no biscuit offense and the spread ’em out and throw it quickly attack that Brady presumably prefers. Echoing and amplifying his remarks from last week, Arians said that Brady is picking the plays that the offense runs.
Is that on the sideline, in the huddle, at the line of scrimmage?
“All of the above,” Arians said, “and it’s been that way for a while now. . . . We call what he picks.”
Brady has been the ultimate professional in the face of these contact public barbs, even though he never faced public barbs during two decades in New England. Indeed, Bill Belichick crafted his infamous “on to Cincinnati” mantra after a disastrous prime-time performance against the Chiefs in 2014, one in which honesty from Belichick would have resulted in plenty of criticism for Brady.
Instead, there was none.
Where it goes from here for Arians and Brady remains to be seen. As the Bucs enter their bye week, however, it could be time for someone named Glazer to explain to Arians that the organization very much wants Brady to return for 2021, when the team can actually fill the stadium (presumably) with paying customers.
Put simply, in the game of box-office rock-paper-scissors, Brady is the rock and Arians is the scissors.