Amid Tom Brady‘s knee surgery recovery, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians made sure the superstar quarterback had a little extra off-field work to do.
Arians, appearing on the Rich Eisen Show, said he told Brady before the NFL Draft to “look at these receivers and see if there is something you like, and I will critique you ability to critique receivers” via JoeBucsFan.com.
“He did great,” Arians told Eisen. “There are certain things he likes. He likes really good, big, fast receivers.”
Bucs fourth-round draft pick Jaelon Darden checks all of those boxes except for height at 5-9. With that said, the speedy rookie wants to prove people wrong about his height limiting him.
“There’s a big chip on my shoulder because a lot of people judge by the looks, which is basically the size,” Darden told NBCDFW’s Pat Doney in March. “They don’t see the real me on the inside. They don’t see the heart I have.”
Brady must have seen that, too, as Arians said Brady is “really excited” about that pick in an NFL Network interview in May.
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Brady as “Assistant to the General Manager”
As NFL.com’s Kevin Patra noted, the Bucs persist in involving Brady in personnel decisions, “and allow him more intel on the happenings of the franchise that most any other player in the NFL.” Patra dubbed Brady as the Bucs’ unofficial “Assistant to the General Manager.”
Before drafting Florida quarterback Kyle Trask in the second round, Bucs general manager Jason Licht said there was conversation with Brady about drafting a quarterback.
“We had some casual conversations throughout the last few weeks that a scenario might come up where we could take a quarterback,” Licht said in a press conference via Heavy.com. “I don’t have many conversations with Tom about the draft, but he was totally fine. He wants what’s best for the team. So, Tom’s going to play as long as Tom wants to play. He’s earned that right.”
It’s also widely speculated that Brady played a key role in Antonio Brown coming to Tampa Bay though both Brady and Arians downplay that per CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan. Brady clarified that he’s just “the quarterback of the team” in an interview Jim Gray via WEEI.com. Arians said “Tom had nothing to do with” it and that it’s “something Jason and I have been talking about for some time” per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
Brady the Coach
Arians has been open about Brady coaching players this offseason for some time, particularly as the quarterback recovers from knee surgery.
The head coach said that Brady “may be doing a lot of coaching” during the June minicamp according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
It’s not a stretch as Brady runs his own workouts with receivers, including the past two weeks. Some lower depth chart skill players such as Tyler Johnson and Ke’Shawn opted for Brady’s workouts instead of voluntary organized team activities recently. Arians wasn’t a fan of that though.
It’s also not a stretch to see Brady in a coaching role given his freedom to call plays, too. Arians revealed that during the 2020 season.