Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians did not hold back when asked about Tom Brady’s interceptions as well as the lack of targets Mike Evans received in the team’s blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints. Arians elaborated on Brady, at times, not appearing to be on the same page with his receivers against the Saints.
“The interception to A.B., that was just a poor throw,” Arians noted in his final press conference before moving on to Week 10. “The one to Chris [Godwin], Chris read the route properly. Tom thought he was going deep, he stopped. Those things can happen sometimes when you’re doing it on the run.”
Arians was blunter in his assessment as to why Evans did not receive the ball more against the Saints. The Buccaneers coach was asked if offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich needed to get Evans the ball earlier in games, and Arians put the blame directly on Brady without mentioning the quarterback by name.
“Mike was open a bunch in that ballgame, he just didn’t get targeted, that’s all,” Arians added. “He was open. Mike was open.”
On another occasion, Arians noted that Brady should have thrown the ball to Antonio Brown, but the quarterback ended up targeting Rob Gronkowski.
“[W]e should have went to him [but] decided to go to Gronk,” Arians, said, per Pro Football Talk.
Arians Was Also Critical of Brady’s Performance vs. Saints in Week 1
This is not the first time Arians has been critical of Brady since he arrived in Tampa. The last time we heard Arians be so direct in assessing Brady was coincidentally after the Buccaneers’ first loss to the Saints this season in Week 1. Arians gave a strong reaction to one of Brady’s interceptions in his Buccaneers debut.
“One was a miscommunication between he and Mike [Evans],” Arians explained in Week 1, per Bleacher Report. “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 is little doubt Brady was coached hard by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, but he rarely did so publicly. If Brady takes issue with this direct way of coaching from Arians, the Buccaneers quarterback has not admitted to it since arriving in Tampa.
“He’s the coach. I’m a player,” Brady responded earlier this season, via Bleacher Report. “We’re trying to win a game.”
Arians’ Reaction to Brady Is Drawing Criticism
It is hard to argue that Brady had a stellar performance against the Saints, but Arians publicly calling out his quarterback is drawing criticism around the country. Fox Sports’ Skip Bayless believes Arians’ “ego” needs to be put in check when talking about one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks.
“What has Bruce Arians ever done to deserve to do this?” Bayless asked on Fox Sports’ Undisputed. “How many Super Bowls has he won? He has an ego even bigger than Tom’s and it is completely undeserved.”