Brady heaps praise on 'endearing' Bucs coach Arians

Amy Tennery
·2 min read
NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Las Vegas Raiders

By Amy Tennery

(Reuters) - Hopefully New England head coach Bill Belichick is not the jealous type.

Ten months since leaving Belichick's Patriots, with whom he won six Super Bowl rings over two decades, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady heaped praise on his new head coach Bruce Arians as they prepare to face Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL Championship game on Feb. 7.

"He's a great man, he's a great leader, he's a great person, he's a great friend (and) he's very loyal," Brady told reporters on Thursday.

"There's nobody that ever would say anything bad about (Arians). He's just so endearing to everybody and I think everyone wants to win for him."

The Buccaneers will vie for their second title against the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City in front of a limited 22,000-spectator crowd in Tampa, the first time a team will vie for the title on home turf.

Peyton Manning is the only quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl with two different teams but four-time Super Bowl MVP Brady is determined to share that distinction.

On the heels of what Brady called a "magical year" in which he threw 40 touchdown passes, the most he has put up since 2007, the 43-year-old is out to prove his decision to swap New England for Tampa was the right one.

The move has not been without its challenges, with three straight losses at home -- including a 27-24 defeat to the Chiefs -- marring an otherwise stellar 11-5 season.

Health restrictions put in place to limit the risk of COVID-19 has also limited Brady's interactions with some of his own team mates and he said that had affected the camaraderie.

But under the circumstances, they were all doing as best they could.

"For me as a player to switch teams, that takes a lot," said Brady.

"To move my family, to go to a different conference, to keep building the way we did and develop a rapport with the guys that we have here – so much of football is about the relationships that you get with your team mates (and) coaches.

"The fact that we're still playing feels really good for me."

(Reporting by Amy Tenery in Gaithersburg, Maryland; Editing by Peter Rutherford)