Bruce Arians is dead wrong about Tom Brady and Buccaneers struggles
By Rob Leeds
Bruce Arians is still one of the best head coaches for the Buccaneers in franchise history, but that doesn’t make him any less wrong about Tom Brady.
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are mercifully out of their skid through the early half of the season. The games weren’t pretty, and many fans rightfully put blame on the struggling offense as the main reason behind why the team was losing.
This split up most of the Bucs fanbase and the media into two camps; one group that mostly blamed the coaching and one that mostly blamed the players, namely Tom Brady.
Bruce Arians has made his claim as to which of these groups was the real issue for the offense, and the answer was disappointing.
Rather than blaming Byron Leftwich and some painfully-conservative play-calling like he should, Arians made the diplomatic (but incorrect) move in calling out Tom Brady.
This was a terrible way of looking at the situation, but it also makes sense that Arians has to play it carefully with two coaches that he supported so much. Leftwich and Todd Bowles are Arians’ legacy in the NFL right now. Both coaches could be in their current roles for years. Tom Brady only has another half of a season left in pewter and red, so it seems.
Arians’ statements would work if they had any merit at all.
Let’s look at Tampa’s four undeserved losses (leaving out the Chiefs).
In four losses this season, Brady has completed 114 passes out of 175 (65%) attempts for 1,129 yards and three touchdowns. During that stretch, Brady had zero interceptions and had a bad throw rate of 17.76.
To give context to that rate, Brady had a bad throw% of 19.0 during his MVP-worthy 2021 season.
So, the guy playing with a better bad throw rate than the season before that was averaging 283 yards through the air per game on 65% passing was bad? Bold by Arians!
The numbers plainly show that the issues were not with the dominant geriatric quarterback but the play-calls that took the ball out of the hands of the best player on the team.
Bruce Arians has done a Hell of a lot right for the Buccaneers and deserves to have his accomplishments remembered for a long time, but defending Byron Leftwich and attacking Tom Brady is a silly look.
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