Rich Ohrnberger doubles down on claims of Tom Brady, Bruce Arians dysfunction

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Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians tried to shout down former NFL player Rich Ohrnberger. It didn’t work.

After Arians’s characteristically profane (and I’m fine with that) response to Ohrnberger’s Friday claim of a tense and souring relationship in Tampa between Arians and quarterback Tom Brady, Ohrnberger doubled down with a series of Saturday night tweets.

Ohrnberger began by explaining that Brady and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich were “responsible for the entirety of the offensive game plan,” and that Arians would take a figurative red pen to their work. Ohrnberger also said that Brady and Leftwich had “major disagreements . . . on strategy, especially regarding the run game.”

Ohrnberger added that, “at a certain point during the 2021 season, Brady successfully seized control of the offensive game plan, adjusting play calls he didn’t believe would work.” Added Ohrnberger: “Additionally, there was a feeling of resentment inside the building toward Arians.”

More Ohrnberger: “While others worked around the clock in Tampa to build a winner, Head Football Coach Bruce Arians had a much lighter work schedule, per multiple impregnable sources.”

Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times responded to Ohrnberger by contending that Arians took the job on the condition of not game planning, that he had no figurative red pen, that it was always Leftwich and Brady doing the game planning, and that it worked.

Ohrnberger replied by reiterating that his sources are “impregnable,” and by pointing out that on-field success isn’t an indication that “relationships are/were on steady footing.”

Although Ohrnberger recently was duped (and admitted it) into tweeting that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes told his fiancée and brother not to attend games because of their in-stadium antics, Ohrnberger backed off after he realized he’d been fooled. On this point, Ohrnberger may indeed have impregnable sources.

First, he played with Brady for three years in New England. While I’m not saying one of his sources was Brady, (1) they clearly know each other and (2) Brady would be an “impregnable” source.

Second, the folks at JoeBucsFan.com have explained that Ohrnberger said on his radio show that he was “talking to a guy who’s pretty embedded with the Bucs,” and that Ohrnberger played college football at Penn State with Buccaneers assistant coach A.Q. Shipley.

How’s the relationship between Ohrnberger and Shipley? A 2008 article in the Penn State school paper described Shipley as one of Ohrnberger’s closet friends on the team. The following year, Ohrnberger posed as Shipley for a 15-minute conference call with reporters.

In 2018, Shipley appeared on Ohrnberger’s radio show, and Ohrnberger opened the interview with this: “Teammate of mine, a guy who I love. This is one of my brothers.”

While it’s considered taboo among reporters to guess their sources (that’s never stopped me), Ohrnberger isn’t a reporter. Also, he opened the door to this kind of stuff by dropping bombs on Bucco Bruce and calling the sources “impregnable.”

Look at it this way. Given the relationship between Ohrnberger and Shipley, common sense suggests that, even if Ohrnberger didn’t hear it first from Shipley, he surely would have run it by him.

We can choose to believe or to not believe whatever we want. I believe Ohrnberger. As noted last night, I also believe Arians protested Ohrnberger’s claims just a little too much.

60 responses to “Rich Ohrnberger doubles down on claims of Tom Brady, Bruce Arians dysfunction

  1. Of course it’s true. All you have to do is watch Arians speak once and that’s clear. I suspect that Brady gets along with him personally pretty well, but as far as coaching and football, he likely finds him to be an idiot.

  2. Everyone talks about Belichick and Brady over 2 deacdes but apparently Brady could only deal with Arians for two seasons

  3. Brady is meticulous in life and football, like his former coach. Arians is crude and vulgar in both. We’re talking scalpel versus meat axe here. I think Brady considers Arians to be a mediocre coach. A couple of other things I believed bothered Brady: Arians’ abrupt handling of the Antonio Brown incident. With more finesse and less bombast, Brown could have been around for the playoffs. And after a Super Bowl-51ish rally from 27-3 down in the divisional game, Brady watched in horror as Arians made the worst defensive call of his career, costing the Buccaneers a chance at the NFC championship game, at home. I think Brady decided then and there that even though he wants to play another season or two, it won’t be in Tampa.

  4. Too much smoke around #12 leaving Tampa. I’m buying this story. Just like I believe that 12’s playing career is not over. I like the trade proposal that Christian posted above. Then 12 can say I was retired but the chance to play for my childhood team(SF) got me back on the field.

  5. Bruce Arians entire career was made because he rode the coattails of great QBs.. from Roethlisberger, to Luck, to Palmer to Brady.

  6. Who cares? All this drama is annoying.,They won a SB. They all made a lot of money. What else matters?

  7. Bruce is the head coach. He can use any color pen he wants. Never heard of this Ohrnberger fellow before now.

  8. Whatever the case, Bucs have had 2 very successful seasons. If it ain’t broke,don’t fix it. Find a loser to try to create dissention within.

  9. So then….Brady isn’t done, just done in Tampa. This alone makes the off-season a little less boring. There are some pretty good teams not set at QB.

  10. There’s only one Qb that I can think of that could be a OC while being the Qb, that’s Peyton Manning

  11. Brady watched in horror as Arians made the worst defensive call of his career, costing the Buccaneers a chance at the NFC championship game, at home.
    _______________________________________________________________

    To be fair, BA doesn’t call defensive plays. That falls on Todd Bowles.

  12. Well, we don’t have a Wes Welker, Julian Edelman or Chris Godwin. So how’s he going to dink and donk his way to another Superbowl?

  13. Makes alot more sense why Brady said farewell to Tampa in his retirement speech and not New England. He’s saving that for his actual retirement.

  14. The only coach in the NFL that knows more than Brady is Bill Belichick. Anywhere Brady goes will likely include an uncomfortable power dynamic unless the coach agree beforehand to be completely hands off.

  15. Whatever – they won the super bowl. That’s more than the packers or anyone else could say in the recent past.

  16. Old news brady installed the Pat’s offense in 2021 cause that risk it offense is trash. bruce wanted some glory but brady wants it all for himself and the control same stuff belichick got fed up with.

  17. Starting to sympathize with Arians in this discussion. If you have a problem with how coaches, coordinators, and players are fulfilling their duties talk with them about it. Whether the press is twisting this or TB12 said part or all of it is hard to know, but somewhere in there is where the fault lies here.

  18. I’m old enough to remember when QBs called the plays and not only Brady but others who’ve been around have a much better feel for the flow of the game.

  19. The last straw of Arians’ “shoot from the hip” style was the way he overreacted to AB’s (typical) crazy sideline behavior. If Arians had just shrugged and walked away from AB, maybe they would have him for the playoffs and maybe the outcome is different. Sure looked like they could have used him. Brady knew how to handle a player like AB — BA did not… And you could tell Brady was not happy he was lacking his guy (even if his guy is nuts). So, it was time to move on. (And he promised his wife he’d “retire” — until SHE goes nuts having a grumpy hubby home all day and he goes back to the 49ers.)

  20. One thing that doesn’t sit right with me is Stroud saying that Arians took the job on the condition that he wouldn’t have to game plan, that’d it’d be up to Leftwich and Brady.

    Brady wasn’t a Buc when Arians was hired, our QB was Jameis Winston.. 😐

  21. As an occasional liar myself I agree that Arians protests a little too, not vocally but more like it’s something he knows has a basis in some truth. People argue a little differently when they KNoW they are in the wrong or wrong. It’s more defensive, more touchy, and that’s how BA comes off to me. The other point as Mike makes is this guy isn’t a reporter. He is MUCH MUCH more likely to have sources that he directly knows through personal relationships before in his life. So I’d say the man got it from the horses mouth, IMO. On another angle I’d say we saw enough little hints at that relationship being strained when the adverse moments occurred BA was rather quick to criticize Brady for right or wrong and I think TB might just think he didn’t have that coming after he put a ring on BA. So my guess, is this guy is right on this story.

  22. The problem with these self-important Seth Wickersham types is that they are basically distortion propagandists. They want to pick out 4 or 5 bad moments in 2 or 20 years and say that they know everything about these highly successful professional relationships. The truth is that Rich Ohrnberger has probably done horrible things to his family. He’s used mean words, he may have yelled. He may have been neglectful or borderline abusive. They clearly all hate each other. Lets dig into his life for public consumption because it might get some clicks.

  23. ….when the adverse moments occurred BA was rather quick to criticize Brady for right or wrong and I think TB might just think he didn’t have that coming after he put a ring on BA. So my guess, is this guy is right on this story.

    ————————–

    After 7-5, the offense was switched to Brady’s system, and BA said that he would just lay back and let Brady coach, BUT he also said that it would be total failure if Bucs wouldn’t win SB.

    See the picture here? he was forced to give up his system after 7-5, and would put all the blame on Brady if Bucs had failed to win SB.

  24. “We can choose to believe or to not believe whatever we want. I believe Ohrnberger. As noted last night, I also believe Arians protested Ohrnberger’s claims just a little too much.”

    If one strongly refutes an unsubstantiated rumor, PFT takes that as an admission of guilt. If one lightly refutes an unsubstantiated rumor, PFT will also take that as an admission of guilt. So with PFT, it seems like any unsubstantiated rumor is taken as fact.

  25. Sounds like this Ohrnberger guy is maybe angling for a book deal. On a side note, in the history of the league has there ever been a player and coach that have had issues with each other. I mean brothers and married folks don’t agree all the time.

  26. Maybe if Brady wasn’t such a narcissist insufferable scumbag on and off the field, he wouldn’t be so disliked. Arians saw his cheating methods up close and looked the other way to get a ring. He knows how fake Brady is. Why would anyone respect a known convicted cheater?

  27. Do folks not realise that all this BS is being generated by Tommy and his crew ?.
    He wants to come back , but realises that he cannot be surrounded by enough “stars” to carry him through in Tampa.
    He knows that he no longer can carry a team on his back , and simply wants to get carried himself to another challenge for a SB.
    He wants to try to orchestrate a move to SF , where he thinks that they will carry him to another SB , just like he wanted to get to in Tampa , and all its weapons , once NE drew up the drawbidge. Guy is the ultimate manipulator.

  28. Do folks not realise that all this BS is being generated by Tommy and his crew ?.

    —————–

    Tell us what system Bucs played against Packers in NFCCG 13 months ago. Was it Brady’s system or BA’s system?

  29. Sounds like a lot of people in multiple organizations, from Cleveland to Pittsburgh to Indy and I wouldn’t doubt, AZ, have been put off by Arians and his crassness. The older you get, most folks mellow out. I know I was pretty vulgar in my twenties, but as I aged, got promoted and had to deal with superiors in my chain of command, I realized that cursing and being a patootie, generally cause people to stop listening to what you were trying to convey and focusing on how many whatever-bombs you dropped during the presentation. Some just tuned me out completely. I would figure that a man pushing 70 would be a bit more reserved, but hey, some guys think it’s manly to act like that in a professional setting all day everyday. Brady might have gotten tired of the act (I mean the man did put him on blast from the minute he arrived like he hadn’t accomplished squat) and has pretended to retire just to see if Arians would actually retire…again.

  30. knightwanderer says:
    February 20, 2022 at 4:45 pm
    As an occasional liar myself I agree that Arians protests a little too, not vocally but more like it’s something he knows has a basis in some truth. People argue a little differently when they KNoW they are in the wrong or wrong. It’s more defensive, more touchy, and that’s how BA comes off to me. The other point as Mike makes is this guy isn’t a reporter. He is MUCH MUCH more likely to have sources that he directly knows through personal relationships before in his life. So I’d say the man got it from the horses mouth, IMO. On another angle I’d say we saw enough little hints at that relationship being strained when the adverse moments occurred BA was rather quick to criticize Brady for right or wrong and I think TB might just think he didn’t have that coming after he put a ring on BA. So my guess, is this guy is right on this story.

    _________

    you aren’t lying to us, are you?

  31. mhouser1922 says:
    February 20, 2022 at 9:25 am
    Brady is meticulous in life and football, like his former coach. Arians is crude and vulgar in both. We’re talking scalpel versus meat axe here.

    ________

    ha, perfect

  32. thurmanmerman99 says:
    February 20, 2022 at 5:37 pm
    Maybe if Brady wasn’t such a narcissist insufferable scumbag on and off the field, he wouldn’t be so disliked. Arians saw his cheating methods up close and looked the other way to get a ring. He knows how fake Brady is. Why would anyone respect a known convicted cheater?

    Wow…….Just how long did it take you to create this little reality you live in? Classic case of projection here.

  33. The degree of guilt is directly proportioned to how vigorous one tried to denied that any of these ever happened. Arians would have been more believable if he did used so much swear words to emphasize his innocence..

  34. Y’all remember when it was playoffs in 2020 and Brady was trying to win a game and Byron and Bruce were yelling at him from the side lines to call a play and Brady was visibly screaming NO at them from the huddle ? Yeah…..starting to seem like Tom was the true leader here.

  35. mhouser1922 says:
    February 20, 2022 at 9:25 am
    Brady is meticulous in life and football, like his former coach. Arians is crude and vulgar in both. We’re talking scalpel versus meat axe here. I think Brady considers Arians to be a mediocre coach. A couple of other things I believed bothered Brady: Arians’ abrupt handling of the Antonio Brown incident. With more finesse and less bombast, Brown could have been around for the playoffs. And after a Super Bowl-51ish rally from 27-3 down in the divisional game, Brady watched in horror as Arians made the worst defensive call of his career, costing the Buccaneers a chance at the NFC championship game, at home. I think Brady decided then and there that even though he wants to play another season or two, it won’t be in Tampa.

    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    Well stated. Orhnberger is just surfacing (the obvious) that Arians has been mailing it in for two years (while Licht remains quiet). The most important parts of Arians day appear to be press conference and happy hour. The defensive play calling in the final 0:35 (and Arians/Bowles obliviousness with situational playoff football after the entire team had comeback from 27-3) was the final straw.

  36. While it would be great fun to rent either TB or Aaron Rodgers fir 1 or 2 seasons and maybe win a SB, as a 49ers fan I’m ready let Trey Lance take over now. There will be growing pains but his ceiling appears quite high. Shanahan is brilliant BUT can also be a moron where he abuses Lances’s running ability like he did when Lance started against Arizona. Shanahan used him incorrectly down near the end zone and got his knee injured. If he makes that kind mistake on a regular basis Lance will have very short career. Run him but be smart HOW you run him!

  37. That old fool with a funny headset half bra was never the head coach with Tomasina Brady there. I’ve long suspected that Leftwich, a marginal QB at best, was never an offensive genius as we were led to believe here. Wouldn’t it be hilarious of Tomasina comes out of retirement and demands a trade to another team so he can win another Snoopy Bowl? With Tampa left with a nobody behind center right now, they could go after Ewwin Wawgers and then Tom would go to Green Bay for a two year stint. Brady has played in cold weather.

  38. Arians is the most overrated head coach in the NFL. If his coaching ability was as great as his ego, he would be on his way to the Hall of Fame.

  39. thurmanmerman99 says:
    February 20, 2022 at 5:37 pm
    Maybe if Brady wasn’t such a narcissist insufferable scumbag on and off the field, he wouldn’t be so disliked. Arians saw his cheating methods up close and looked the other way to get a ring. He knows how fake Brady is. Why would anyone respect a known convicted cheater?
    —–
    So true. And this is a repeat of how he left the Patriots. Poor widdle tender Tommy not getting enough love and affection from his head coach so he quit on the team and now looking somewhere else. Wash, rinse, repeat.

  40. Chill_Mickelson says:
    February 21, 2022 at 1:50 am
    Goat will finish out with a SB win with a 3rd team…Niners.

    —-
    Only if he cheats again. He’s good at that.

  41. To Arians credit he knew the way to win was be a talking head and let brady run the team – it worked.

  42. It’s awkward for everyone when a guy like Tom Brady or Peyton Manning agrees to join your team. Of course these guys are going to run the show. They’ll allow the coaches to get as much respect from the team as need be, but make no mistake about it, the QB is running the show. In the cases of both Manning and Brady, they succeeded in leading their teams to world championships. You have to give some credit to the coaching staffs that knew how to juggle staying out of the way, and at the same time, leading the team. It takes a special coach to be able to do that. So, hats off to Arians for that huge accomplishment. I tend to ignore the ex-player looking for 15 minutes of fame.

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