Bruce Arians prioritized rest, days off for Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski

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When the Patriots came back to win Super Bowl LI over the Falcons, head coach Bill Belichick said one of the best parts of that 2016 team was that it took no days off.

He even started chanting it.

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians doesn’t seem to live by that mantra.

In an interview with Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, Arians talked about how he prioritized rest and recovery for former Patriots Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.

“You’ve got to be super involved as a coach, but with [Brady] it’s not about Xs and Os,” Arians said. “It’s making sure he’s comfortable and feels good about the game plan and work week. He’d text me and say, ‘Do you mind if I don’t throw Wednesday?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t care.’ … I’d ask him, ‘Do you want to take mental reps or do you just want to sit back?’ He’d say, ‘I just need to sit back.’ And we did that two or three times during the season.”

Arians noted Brady went from saying, “This will be the last day I ever take off,” to asking, “Do you mind if I take off Wednesday?”

Arians took the same kind of approach to Gronkowski.

“Even with Gronk I’d say, ‘Dude, you’re not practicing on Wednesdays. I need you on Sunday. I don’t need you on Thursday,'” Arians said. “And he was like, ‘Oh, man, I’ll be fresh. I’ll be like, super.’ I told him that if he ever needed a day off, he should just let me know. Because he never had days off before.”

After retiring following the Patriots’ victory in Super Bowl LIII, Gronkowski’s body was likely well rested and healthy for the season. Gronkowski had not played all 16 regular-season games since 2011, and was able to start each of the Bucs’ 20 games en route to a Super Bowl victory.

There’s more than one way to win a championship in the NFL. Both Belichick and Arians have found formulas that worked for their individual teams.

16 responses to “Bruce Arians prioritized rest, days off for Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski

  1. Hope there will be a film about the Bucs’ championship season. Lots of info like that would be interesting.

  2. This is interesting. It’s hard for Belichick to treat guys differently. It’s important to his whole philosophy that nobody is special, it’s all about the team. But he’s not stupid, he can learn there is a different way. I think he can learn that is a way to give different guys what they need without creating division among the players.

  3. BA is a smart man. Several teams giving “veterans” days off now. The Cards having been doing that with Fitz dating back to BA’s time there. You can’t run older players into the dirt during the week and expect them to be fresh on Sundays.

  4. I agree with this approach because hey, it worked. However, what Belichick built in NE was institutional. It worked for so long because whoever came in to the organization was expected to do everything in the same disciplined way. Every guy. Belichick had the resume and stoic inflexibility to get them to buy in. The attention to detail was difficult, yes. It’s just these small type of advantages that always beat the Tomlins of the world and helps you win over 60 minutes on Sundays. Brady is the opposite of “diva” – he took everything Belichick dished out at him for 20 years. Never publically complained. He has also taken every knock Arians said this year to the media. Never complained, even though he’s the Babe Ruth of football and a lot of real “diva” QBs would have gotten in a war of words over it (Rodgers comes to mind).

    Better overall execution, less penalties. No bulletin board material. Do the little things. Be prepared. Expect to win.

    Ask any former player and they say 2 things: it was harder than anywhere else they’d been, but the reward was WINNING. Guys who were never in the playoffs in their careers suddenly had rings. Just like they’re experiencing in Tampa Bay.

    The common denominator – Tom Brady – but don’t buy the narrative that Belichick didn’t build it. It was as synergistic as anything successful in sports history.

  5. remizak says:

    February 9, 2021 at 9:34 am

    This is interesting. It’s hard for Belichick to treat guys differently. It’s important to his whole philosophy that nobody is special, it’s all about the team. But he’s not stupid, he can learn there is a different way. I think he can learn that is a way to give different guys what they need without creating division among the players.
    ———
    I dont think it’s ever been about him not knowing theres a different way but as you stated his philosophy is everyone is treated equally, if he starts to deviate from what he believes no one will follow him. A coach or any leader or supervisor knows theres multiple ways to lead but you can only lead the way you believe, when you try to copy or mimic others and you dont believe what your saying the people following you wont either.

  6. Glad to see BA get some well-earned props.

    People say he’s successful because he’s had Manning, Roethlisberger, Palmer, Luck, Brady… It’s just as true a good coach helped them be great.

  7. What is this revisionist history? Belichick gave the team days off and in later years, they even had Brady on a “pitch count” counting his throws in camp and practice with those little hand held thumb counters.
    There were plenty of times when different players were “absent from practice” for “non-football related issues”.
    Come on, man. Let’s not make stuff up.

  8. This is total bull. Belichick always gave Brady days off and bent over backwards for Gronkowski due to his myriad of injuries. It’s OK to give Arians some credit but I’m sure a lot of the conversations were “This is how we managed my time in New England”.

  9. Let’s not forget belichick kept his team competitive for 20 straight years, Arian’s is sitting on one.

  10. remizak says:
    February 9, 2021 at 9:34 am
    This is interesting. It’s hard for Belichick to treat guys differently. It’s important to his whole philosophy that nobody is special, it’s all about the team. But he’s not stupid, he can learn there is a different way. I think he can learn that is a way to give different guys what they need without creating division among the players.
    __________________

    Bill worked under Parcells for years. Parcells was known for playing favorites. Bill has his own methods, and they have worked (with the aid of having a HOF QB on team-friendly contracts) to this point. I think as a whole, we are reading too much into the “leaving NE” thing. All good things come to an end; it was simply time for everyone to go their separate ways.

  11. Arians and Belichick do not belong in the same sentence. If Belichick can get 7 wins out of the Patriots team with the most COVID opt outs, a QB that looks done, a COVID outbreak, injuries at key positions during the season just imagine what he could have done with Tampa’s stacked roster even with Jameis who is an upgrade over Cam at this point. Bill is the GOAT.

  12. Don’t forget that JPP basically didn’t practice the whole playoff stretch. Look at all the injury reports during playoff run, he may have logged a limited practice 1-2 times.

  13. They are multiple ways to skin-a-cat. . .. more than one way to the top of Pikes Peak, Everest or across Death Valley. Like Bruce Lee said – “Be water.”

  14. patsfan4lifedynasty says:

    February 9, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    Arians and Belichick do not belong in the same sentence. If Belichick can get 7 wins out of the Patriots team with the most COVID opt outs, a QB that looks done, a COVID outbreak, injuries at key positions during the season just imagine what he could have done with Tampa’s stacked roster even with Jameis who is an upgrade over Cam at this point. Bill is the GOAT.
    ———-
    I’m not saying Arians belongs with Belichick BUT some of what you listed falls on Belichick. Opt outs or not this was a very shallow team that lacks any difference maker on offense. The qb may have looked done(which he looked done in carolina as well) but then that’s either poor coaching for not moving on to Hoyer/Stidham or it was his ego believing before they signed Cam they could get by with Hoyer/Stidham because of his coaching and then when he saw that wasnt the case with Cam he knew it wouldnt be better with either if them. Also using the excuse “injuries at key positions” os weak since that’s what coaching is all about. There are 2 positions that can make up for shortcomings at other spots, coach and qb. When your missing key players it’s up to the coach to game plan which is what had repeatedly been part of Belichick’s greatness but it was far, far from it this year without a great qb. This isnt taking anything away from Belichick but you have to be honest with what he did this year as well as be honest with Arians doing a great job. It’s easy to say the team was “stacked” but when teams like that who are “stacked” lose everyone claims that’s why you cant buy a championship or build a super team or something similar so when they win YES you have to give credit to the coach.

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