Bruce Arians on Buccaneers’ three-game skid: Tom Brady “was playing bad”

NFL: AUG 02 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp
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Former Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians has largely disappeared since partially instigating a Week Two fracas between receiver Mike Evans and Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Arians, officially the senior adviser to G.M. Jason Licht, is back.

Arians spoke to Ira Kaufman of Among other things, Arians gave credit to coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich for keeping things together during the team’s three-game losing streak. Arians also gave blame to one specific player.

“I talked to Byron every day when that was happening,” Arians said. “He doesn’t read the papers and nothing bothers Byron. That’s what I love about him and that’s why he’ll be a damned good head coach one day, because he weathers everything. And Todd does, too.”

Leftwich bore the brunt of the criticism during the losing streak, due to an offense that was going nowhere.

“I don’t think it was fair to Byron,” Arians said. “Nobody is going to say that [quarterback Tom] Brady was playing bad, but he was playing bad. We also had growing pains on a young offensive front and we weren’t running well. There comes a time as a play caller when you’re losing yards running the ball and you say, ‘Forget this, I’m putting the ball in Tom’s hands.”

During Arians’s two years of coaching Brady, Arians never minced words regarding Brady. It’s surprising to see Arians speaking out, now that he’s not the coach — and now that the Tampa Bay offense is turning it around.

“I’m really optimistic about the rest of the season,” Arians said. “First off, we’re getting healthy. Tom smiled at practice last week for the first time this season. He’s going to be fine. I love the swagger we played with Sunday, especially defensively. It’s been missing.”

If it’s back, the Buccaneers will be dangerous. To any team and every team they face in the postseason. If they get there.

And, frankly, they should. They have a one-game lead plus a tiebreaker over the Falcons, and the Bucs should be able to hold it with a seven-game stretch that begins after the emerge from a Week 11 bye.

15 responses to “Bruce Arians on Buccaneers’ three-game skid: Tom Brady “was playing bad”

  1. Bucs to part ways with Arians. He’s a “distraction,” and the Glazers hate distractions.

  2. What a blow-hard. I’m not a Bucs fan but I’ve watched a few Bucs games this year and I’ve seen Brady under almost constant pressure, no running game to speak of, receivers dropping passes, etc, etc. It’s fair to say that because of personal issues Brady might not have been as engaged as he normally would be but to mention only Brady as the reason for the team underperforming is absolutely ridiculous.

  3. What’s lost in all this is how Bruce Arians has mentored and supported Todd Bowles to help make him a successful head coach. In fact, he helped him get his first opportunity. This is the greater story here. How he’s passing the torch, and putting his time and effort behind promoting minority coaches, and being selfless enough to step aside to let him grow when he could very well have remained head coach. That’s the real story in Tampa, IMO, not Brady selfishly holding on for his legacy.

  4. What about all of the dropped passes? If Arians is going to lay blame, he certainly needs to include the receivers group. A lot of Brady’s passes were right in their hands or hit them between the numbers. Evans, Godwin, Miller…all guilty. No, Brady was not great, but let’s be fair with the criticism.

  5. This is a really bad look for Arians. It’s pretty clear he’s still salty that Brady forced him out. During that 3 game losing streak Brady threw 286 YPG, 2 TD and 0 INTS. The opposing QBS in that 3 game losing streak threw 208 YPG. But to Arians Brady was the problem. I think most teams would love their QBs bad games to be 286 yards with 0 INTS. You expect a win with that statline. But no, according o Arians the first fault goes to Brady, not that Fournette was their leading rusher in all three games rushing 38 times for 2.8 YPC, or that the defense forced 0 turnovers over that 3 game span.

  6. The only reason Arians has a ring is that he was a passenger on the Brady bus. Ungratefulness is not a good look, but then Arians has never looked good…

  7. Well, the good news is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won their 5th game this season. They won 21-16 against the Seattle Seahawks in what amounted to a bit of an upset, when looking at both teams’ records. The Seahawks have a winning record, while the Bucs have a losing record or rather an even record. Tom Brady threw for 2 touchdowns, one to Julio Jones and one to Chris Godwin. That makes it 12 touchdowns this season. From what I gather, this game in Hamburg, Germany was one of the better gaming experiences for the NFL and for Brady. And while this is not an official statistic, Tom Brady has been undefeated since his divorce was finalized. It would be reasonable to say that Tom Brady feels better since leaving the family and his now former wife, Gisele Bundchen. As well, the Giants won, the Jets won, and the Patriots had a bye week. Tampa Bay will be enjoying their bye week this week.

    If there is any bad news, and it seems less bad this week: it is that the win was almost snatched away from the Bucs. This game could have gone either way if Brady and the offense had not run the tables earlier. More tellingly, Tampa Bay while now having an even record and a decent chance at making the playoffs are still in danger of having the season fall apart on them. Tom Brady and the team have managed to lose to losing teams this season, and I would not be surprised to see the Browns spoil the party Sunday after next. Admittedly, the 2022 NFL season has been quite scattershot now with no undefeated teams. Now, maybe the winning streak continues. However, the wins are not always going to be as easy as the most recent win. And the options for Tom Brady before this season is finished and beyond are quite varied. One thing is for sure, he is not staying in Tampa Bay or anywhere in Florida by this time next year. The Florida Man experiment has cost him quite a bit. There are 4 options for Brady after the next game and for 2023 onwards: go to San Francisco and finish a career with the hometown team, return to the New England Patriots and end a lasting legacy the correct way, go to Las Vegas and take the old Richard Seymour and Mike Haynes rout of carving a niche in the silver and black, or retire and take the guaranteed Fox Sports money to offset any equity which have might have been lost in the FTX cryptocurrency mishap. By the way, the Raiders option exists only if Josh Mcdaniels will still be a coach there. The choice will be Brady’s, and I would say his kids’ decision in the end. We shall see. Yet time is not on his side, or ours for that matter.


  8. Brady works best with either a great slot WR or a half decent run game. Bucs have been awful running the ball and the short pass game has not been able to overcome that. Also Bucs have been plagued by dropped passes. Hopefully Rashad White can keep the momentum going so Brady can help create more space for his pass catchers with the play action game. Brady teams historically don’t play their best football at hte start of seasons anyway. I wouldn;t write them off yet.

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