Tom Brady’s debut with the Buccaneers didn’t go as planned and it was a surprise to coach Bruce Arians.
“He looked like Tom Brady in practice all the time, so it’s kind of unusual to see that in a ball game because they didn’t do things that we didn’t get ready for. Everything they did, we thought we were ready for,” Arians said (via Jenna Laine of ESPN). “Some wide receivers have to do a better job of winning one-on-one when he decides to go their way. He put us in the right run checks a couple times. It was a learning experience that way.
Brady went 23-of-36 for 239 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions on Sunday.
“You can’t say that we weren’t in sync because we started out as good as you can start out, going right down the field. Then we don’t get any more chunk plays other than pass interference penalties. I think it’s a great learning experience. It’s just round one of a 16-round fight. And we’ll learn from it.”
Arians added that he expects Brady to have a “little more grit” and a “little more determination” ahead of next week’s game against the Panthers.
“It’s a situation where all that verbiage, when you’re under the gun, is different, and now you’re getting hit for the first time, too. It’s all different,” Arians said. “He’s had it before. He knows how to bounce back. He knew he didn’t play very well. It’s not what he expects from himself, nor do we expect. I would anticipate him to have a little more grit, a little more determination this week.”
Arians Continues to Criticize Brady
Heading into the season, Arians was adamant that he’d treat Brady like anyone else. The coach hasn’t been shy criticizing the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback in the media, as he did when talking about Brady’s interceptions after the Saints games.
“One was a miscommunication between he and Mike [Evans],” Arians told reporters after the loss to the Saints. “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.”
There were no fans in the stands in New Orleans and Arians said he would have liked more crowd noise in the stadium, telling reporters postgame that there was “no energy”. The Buccaneers won’t have fans in the stands for their Week 2 tilt (at home) against the Panthers, though they could open the doors later in the season.
Tampa Bay is 0-1 but there’s still optimism on the team. Ask if he still believes the Buccaneers can win the division, Arians responding with “Hell yeah.”