Tom Brady had a debut he’d like to forget. Making his first start as quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Brady was less than stellar. He threw a pair of bad interceptions as the New Orleans Saints capitalized on both. When it was over, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians called out the former New England Patriots star.
Tom Brady leaves New England
After 20 seasons as a member of the New England Patriots, Tom Brady suited up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Brad was a sixth-round pick out of the University of Michigan and turned out to be the best pick ever in the NFL draft. Brady took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe and the rest is history.
Brady teamed up with head coach Bill Belichick to win six Super Bowls. He’s put together the best resume in all of professional football. Things got a bit testy during his final year in New England, and there were doubts whether or not he’d finish his illustrious career with the team that drafted him.
Although Brady and the Patriots finished 12-4 in 2019, the team lost to the lowly Miami Dolphins in the regular-season finale, costing them a first-round bye in the playoffs. The Pats hosted the Tennessee Titans and were upset in the opening round. Brady threw a pick-6 on the final offensive series and he never suited up for the Patriots again.
Brady was in unfamiliar territory Sunday
After signing a free-agent deal for two years and $50 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason, Tom Brady made his debut with the Bucs on Sunday. Playing on the road at New Orleans (with zero fans in attendance), Brady looked sharp on the opening drive. He put Tampa Bay up 7-0 with a 2-yard touchdown run. That was the highlight of his day.
Brady, playing as an underdog for the first time in 74 games, threw a pair of interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown. With his team trailing 17-7 at halftime, Brady threw a pass that was picked off by Janoris Jenkins and returned 36 yards for a touchdown to put the Saints in front 24-7.
Brady threw two second-half touchdown passes, but it was during catch-up mode. The 43-year-old quarterback put the blame on himself. “I made some just bad, terrible turnovers,” Brady said, according to ESPN. “I obviously have got to do a lot better job.” He finished 23-for-36 for 239 yards.
Bruce Arians calls out Brady for poor decisions
Tom Brady knew his debut didn’t go as planned. He put much of the blame on his shoulders, saying he has to be better. After the game, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians faulted Brady for some of his throws.
Speaking of the interceptions, Arians, after the game, said, “one was a miscommunication between (Brady) and Mike (Evans). He thought Mike was going down the middle – it was a different coverage – Mike read it right. He should have been across his face, but Tom overthrew it. The other one was a screen pass with an outlet called. He threw the outlet and it was a pick-six. Bad decision.”
Playing for a new team was culture shock enough for Brady, but having a coach call him out publicly was something he’d never experienced in his career. Bill Belichick wasn’t one to ever publicly put down one of his players.
Statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.