This is not last year’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Bruce Arians would know since he was also the coach in 2019. When describing the Buccaneers’ comeback against the Chargers, Arians was candid about how his team would have fared last season if they were in a similar situation. Arians admitted the Bucs of the past would have “gotten our a– beat by 20.”
“We knew we played poorly,” Arians explained the Bucs start against the Chargers, per ESPN’s Jenna Laine. “It was just a show of character. I can honestly say, had this been last year, we would have gotten our a– beat by 20. [With] Tom — he’s never behind in his mind, so we can always make plays to win games.”
Brady After the Bucs Win Over the Chargers: ‘We’ve Just Got to Tighten Things Up’
Arians did not look very far when coming up with an answer as to what has changed: Tom Brady. The Buccaneers quarterback threw five touchdowns to as many different receivers, but after the game, Brady was not taking any victory laps. Brady appeared frustrated that the Buccaneers had such a deficit to overcome. The Bucs may be 3-1, but Brady noted it is time for the team to “tighten things up.”
“We put ourselves in a pretty good hole and we were just going to have to dig our way out of it,” Brady noted, per Buccaneers.com. “That’s just the way football works sometimes. We’ve just got to tighten things up. I’m glad we came back. The defense made a big play for us just before the end of the half and that got us and that got us ignited a little bit. We made some plays in the third quarter, made some good plays in the fourth quarter. We started the game well, finished the game well, that middle part we’ve just got to figure out how to play 60 minutes well.”
Brady was nearly flawless aside from a pick-six he threw early in the game. Arians took the blame for Brady’s interception noting he needs to “coach him up better” on that particular play.
“I thought he just played outstanding,” Arians explained, via Buccaneers.com. “I’ve just got to coach him up better on that one play [that was intercepted] and just get it coached better. But he played fantastic and was lights-out in the second half.”
Arians in the Locker Room: ‘We Don’t Play, We’re Gonna Get Our A– Beat’
As we saw with Brady after Week 1, Arians is not one to shy away from criticism when it is needed. The Buccaneers posted a video of Arians’ victory speech after Tampa’s win over Los Angeles. Arians was brutally honest about the two possibilities each game for an ultra-talented Buccaneers roster.
“We got playmakers,” Arians said. “When we play, we gonna be hard to beat. Like we learned in the first half, we don’t play, we’re gonna get our a– beat. But when we play, we’re hard to beat. That’s a helluva birthday present.”