Before the bye week, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians had made a cottage industry out of calling out his quarterback. Now, Arians is singing a different tune.
“I don’t know why anyone’s criticizing Tom,” Arians told reporters on Wednesday. “What he did at the end of the half and to start the second half [against] Minnesota — very, very few teams can score 17 points in a matter of five or six minutes. If we finished the half with 17 points, I don’t [care] how we start. He’s not getting enough credit for what he’s doing.”
Regardless of whether he’s getting enough credit, he’s not getting more credit because Arians hasn’t been bashful when it comes to blaming Brady for mistakes, and for creating the impression that he’s fully and completely responsible for an offense that has at times underachieved.
Then there’s the fact that the Buccaneers under Brady have struggled on big stages, losing to the Bears, Saints, and Rams in prime time, and falling to the Saints and Chiefs in the late-afternoon window.
“Offensively, I think Tom [Brady] has had a Pro Bowl year,” Arians said Wednesday.
Given that three quarterbacks from the conference make the Pro Bowl team, Brady likely has had a Pro Bowl year. But Brady, who would avoid the Pro Bowl if there actually was one this year, is far more concerned about the playoffs. That’s where he thrives, and that’s where the periodic struggles of the regular season quickly could be forgotten.