If you believe the rumors that have been making the rounds, Bruce Arians managed to do in only two years what it took Bill Belichick two decades to accomplish. And Arians doesn’t appreciate talk of a rift between himself and retired (for now) quarterback Tom Brady.
Former NFL lineman Rich Ohrnberger, who made waves on Friday by tweeting a phony story about Patrick Mahomes that someone had been sending to multiple media members in the hopes of getting someone to bite, also tweeted that Arians had a habit of showing up after rehabbing a partially torn Achilles tendon in the morning and taking “the red pen” to the game plan that had been developed by offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and Brady, and that the two men “felt undermined, there was tension.”
In comments made to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Arians called the report “such bullshit.” Arians added that it “pisses me off,” noting that Leftwich “could corroborate this, too.”
Arians quibbled with some of Ohrnberger’s details, and Arians denied that the coach interferes with the game planning.
“First of all, I don’t rehab my Achilles in the morning,” Arians told Stroud. “I will go over the game plans and add things, but I don’t delete anything. I don’t have to because they do such a good job. . . . I’ll see some things. Add some things. It’s an awesome collaboration, one of the best I’ve ever been around.”
Arians also opted to challenge the literal terms used by Ohrnberger, saying that Arians never used a red pen on any game plan. “I never heard of that one,” Arians told Stroud. “That was the best one ever. That’s pretty graphic to not know what the fuck you’re talking about.”
In fairness to Ohrnberger, he likely wasn’t literally referring to the use of a red pen. It’s a figure of speech, and it’s kind of amazing that, in nearly 70 years on earth, Arians had never heard it before.
Regardless of why it happened, Brady is retired. Sort of. And if/when the Buccaneers make a major investment in a veteran replacement, it will be very difficult for the Buccaneers to re-embrace Brady if he decides to return. They’ll have to cut him or trade him.
Nothing Arians says changes that. If anything, it seems as if he’s maybe protesting a little too much.