The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have struggled mightily this season. Those struggles have former head coach Bruce Arians calling out Tom Brady, as everyone else wants to blame offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.
This particular play, during a game in Germany made Leftwich the target of some unfriendly Twitter fire, even though the Bucs won the game.
45-year old WR Tom Brady with 23-year old Tariq Woolen covering him and Leonard Fournette throwing.
I mean…. c'mon. 😂pic.twitter.com/AduLxO7PwG
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) November 13, 2022
Despite his glowing track record as a play-caller and Tom Brady’s recent inconsistent performances, the Twittersphere came for Leftwich’s offensive coordinator job.
Byron Leftwich better blow Geno Smith in the parking lot after the game for fumbling that ball and yet they still need to fire him for that stupidity.
— JC (@puppiesandnfl) November 13, 2022
In an interview according to JoeBucsFan.com, Arians was adamant that Leftwich doesn’t deserve to the be scapegoat.
“I don’t think it’s fair to Byron. Nobody is going to say that Brady was playing bad, but he was playing bad. We also had growing pains on a young offensive front, and we weren’t running well. There comes a time as a playcaller when you’re losing yards running the ball and say, forget this, I’m putting the ball in Tom’s hands.”
The Buccaneers have put together a two-game winning streak, which saw their record reach .500, at 5-5. Despite the mediocrity, Tampa has risen to the top of the NFC South. But that doesn’t mean head coach Todd Bowles has completely righted the ship in South Florida. If Brady dips into another mini-slump the season could be lost.
Man…I was getting ROASTED for criticizing Brady. He's looked much better the last few weeks. Starting to play like himself again https://t.co/bdjO2usBWR
— James Yarcho (@JYarcho_BUCS) November 15, 2022
Arians Is Correct Brady Has Been Bad
Throughout the season Brady has gotten a pass for mediocre play. While he was dealing with a stressful divorce from wife Gisele Bündchen, he still wasn’t playing good football. The offensive line struggled, but even when protected Brady was underwhelming. So Arians is right when he’s defending Leftwich and wondering how the talented OC is taking the brunt of the blame, when a seven-time Super Bowl-winning signal caller hasn’t lived up to his billing.
That’s Arians’ MO, he’s never been afraid to tell his players how he feels. That was evident during his and Brady’s two years together, and despite immense success, BA didn’t hesitate to tell TB he needed to play better.
Tom Brady and Bruce Arians Relationship Rocky
The two-year relationship for BA and TB seemed to run its course at the end of the 2021 season. Following that season, which ended in a divisional playoff loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams, Brady quickly retired, only to return 44 days later. His decision to hit the gridiron again played a role in Arians’ decision to retire. BA is adamant there was no rift between the two, but that sounds like the farthest thing from the truth. Here’s what he told the L.A. Times.
“Tom was kind of the key. When Tom decided to come back … and all of these guys back now, it’s perfect timing for me just to go into the front office and still have the relationships that I love,” Arians told reporters.
Even in retirement Arians hasn’t stopped calling out Brady, and especially as it pertains to throwing Leftwich under the bus for the team’s struggles offensively. Arians has spoken highly of Leftwich and feels that Super Bowl-winning play-caller is a top candidate for a coaching position. He’s being blamed for Brady being 45 and a shell of the quarterback he once was.