The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a world away from the New England Patriots for quarterback Tom Brady. Not just distance-wise, but style-wise. Head coach Bruce Arians has not shied away from frequently criticizing Brady to the media, which was far from a common occurrence during his eons with the Patriots.
After achieving a 6-2 mark in the first half of the season, the Bucs have lost three of their past four games, and Arians’ criticism has continued. On his regular pregame “Monday Night Football” segment, Westwood One radio’s Jim Gray asked Brady what he thinks about Arians’ penchant for publicly calling him (and other players) out. In true Brady fashion, he didn’t answer the question.
“I’ve got a great relationship with B.A. [Arians], and we talk every day,” Brady said via the Tampa Bay Times. “I’ve got a lot of respect for him and how he runs the team and so forth.”
Brady won’t criticize Arians
Despite the fact that Arians has been placing blame on Brady and other players, Brady decided to blame the media.
“Any time you lose games, a lot of people want to place blame, especially in the media, and they want to pit one player against another player, or a player against a coach and so forth,” Brady said via the Tampa Bay Times.
“That’s not been my style. ... And I just think about it from a player’s standpoint. I always think about what I need to do better, and I certainly haven’t played to my level of expectation, and I’ve got to do a better job, and that’s what it comes down to for me.”
Brady’s dedication to introspection and personal improvement is admirable, but he has lost the plot a little. It’s not like members of the media were surrounding Arians with cattle prods and demanding he blame a player for the team’s recent struggles. Arians made a choice to call out Brady, just like Brady is making a choice to not publicly criticize Arians.
Should Brady fire back?
Brady has continued to be diplomatic in the media with Arians, even when Arians criticizes him. Brady is definitely worthy of criticism, but Arians and his coaches are far from blameless. Many, many people who are not named Tom Brady have been loudly pointing out that the offense Arians and his coaches have built is not a great fit for Brady. The running game is dismal and Brady’s poor deep throws have become way too important (and frequent) in the grand scheme.
Considering that his head coach has no problem discussing his shortfalls with the media, this could be a good time for Brady to drop a pointed comment or two, or even a cryptic phrase about those issues. But Brady won’t take the bait.
“We’ve put in a lot of work in over the last three or four months, and it’s a production-based business,” Brady said.
“So when you win, you get to deal with all the great questions and so forth, and when you lose, you’ve got to deal with the questions of why you’re losing and who’s to blame for losing and all that. But when you’re on the outside, that’s just what you deal with. When you’re on the inside, we don’t think like that.”
On the outside, Brady is being unfailingly courteous and a consummate team player. You have to wonder if things are that harmonious with the Bucs on the inside.
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