For two decades, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick were a packaged deal in New England. Even if you hate the Patriots, you have to admit that the two men formed a pretty good partnership; together, they dominated the AFC East and claimed six Super Bowl titles. This offseason, however, Brady left Foxborough and moved to Tampa Bay, teaming up with Bruce Arians. That relationship might not have gotten off to the best start.
On Sunday, Arians made headlines by criticizing his quarterback during his postgame press conference. The veteran head coach, though, doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about his relationship with Tom Brady.
Bruce Arians publically criticized Tom Brady on Sunday
In modern sports, it’s rare to hear a coach or manager publicly criticize one of their players. Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, however, plays by his own rules.
On Sunday, the Buccaneers dropped their opening game to the New Orleans Saints. Given their offseason expectations, the result was disappointing; the team’s new-look, Tom Brady-led offense failed to hit its stride. After the game, Arians said that his quarterback hadn’t been up to snuff.
During his press conference, Arians suggested that both of Brady’s interceptions were the quarterback’s fault; he later walked those comments back, however, saying Mike Evans had made the wrong read on the first pick. The coach also said that he expected Brady to show more grit and determination in Week 2.
Bruce Arians doesn’t care what you think about his relationship with his quarterback
As soon as Bruce Arians offered his assessment of Tom Brady’s play, the football world started buzzing. It’s rare for a coach to publicly single out one player, let alone someone like Tom Brady; could things already be breaking down in Florida?
Brett Favre even suggested that Arians’ comments could cause a problem between player and coach.
I think the last person you want to call out after the first game of the year is Tom Brady,” the Packers great said on Sirius XM. “Now maybe they had a mutual truce going into the game, going into the season, ‘Hey, I’m going to be hard on you. I want the guys to know we’re going to treat you the same even though technically I’m not, so are you OK with it?’ If they have that truce, great. If not, I think you are barking up the wrong tree. Dissension could easily enter quickly.”
Arians, for his part, has insisted that he and Tom Brady are on the same page. Furthermore, the coach doesn’t care what anyone outside of the locker room thinks.
“Tom and I are fine. I don’t really care what other people think. So it’s just what he and I think,” Arians said on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine. “We left the stadium fine. We showed up today fine. There ain’t nothin’ to talk about.”
Tom Brady had to know what he was signing up for, right?
On a purely human level, it’s easy to see where Brett Favre’s logic. No one, not even Tom Brady, likes to be publicly blasted by their boss. At the same time, though, the quarterback had to know what he was signing up for.
Brady has been in the NFL for two decades; the way Bruce Arians, who started as the Indianapolis Colts quarterbacks coach in 1998, goes about his business shouldn’t be a surprise. Furthermore, the quarterback chose to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s safe to assume that he had some conversations with the head coach before signing on the dotted line.
As usual, the real solution is probably somewhere in between all the potential theories. Did Tom Brady appreciate Bruce Arians’ public comments? As a human being, it’s unlikely. Did they come as a shock and destroy a burgeoning relationship? Equally unlikely. As the head coach himself said, things are probably “fine” and moving ahead as normal for Week 2.
If results don’t improve, though, it could be a long two years in Tampa.