“Tom Wasn’t Himself” | Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Talks Brady’s Final NFL Season

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a trendy Super Bowl contender in the NFC at the beginning of the 2022 NFL season, stumbled to a 8-9 record. And although it was good enough to win the listless NFC South, it wasn’t good enough to advance them past the wild card round of the NFL playoffs. In that game the Bucs were dominated by the Cowboys losing 31-14 in what would be quarterback Tom Brady’s final NFL game. But for Brady it was a culmination of a tumultuous season pretty much on and off the field. 

Bruce Arians. (Photo: Icon Sportswire/Getty)

On it Brady looked his age, 45, most of the season, off of it he was dealing with a divorce from his wife Gisele Bündchen. In the end those two factors played a major role in the Bucs’ demise.

Brady’s former head coach Bruce Arians recently appeared on “The Rich Eisen Show,” and talked all things Bucs, including Brady not being himself in 2022. 


“The injuries to our leaders was really, really hard,” Arians said. “Tom wasn’t himself, you know, with all the things that were going on. And I got to give him all the credit in the world for battling through what he went through last season for his teammates. I think the world of him, but it wasn’t the real Tom Brady out there.”

Arians also said this time the retirement is final. 

“I definitely think so,” Arians said. “He’s spent a lot of time with his kids and just heading to the next chapter. He’s got so many things going on, you know. He’s one busy dude.”

Brady’s season was doomed before it began as the seven-time Super Bowl winner retired following the 2021-22 season, only to return 44 days later, much to the dismay of the aforementioned Bündchen. 

Brady’s Numbers Were Still Solid, But The Eye Test Read Differently

While Brady passed for nearly 4,700 yards, 25 touchdowns and just nine interceptions, a lot of that came in garbage time of games, as the Bucs were blown out a few times during the season. Injuries to key offensive linemen, and offensive playmakers didn’t help matters, but it still doesn’t take away from Brady’s very erratic play all season. The playcalling of then offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich was also questioned often, and he was relieved of his duties following the season. 

Strange development, considering Leftwich was a head coach candidate and given credit for the team’s offensive success by the aforementioned Arians when he was the coach. Now with no Arians, Brady or Leftwich, the Bucs under head coach Todd Bowles are turning the page on the former regime, in favor of Bowles’ own. 

Arians Thinks Kyle Trask Is Ready To Assume The QB Role

Arians admitted it was hard to step down and turn the reins over to Bowles, but he feels he made the right choice. He also spoke highly of quarterbacks Kyle Trask, who’s slated to take lead under center with Brady now retired. 

“I think we’re in good hands with Trask,” Arians said. “I love Kyle, he’s been there two years now. … Blaine Gabbert was a great mentor for him. But just like three years ago, you’ve got to search what’s behind door No. 2. Three years ago, we never would’ve guessed Tom Brady was behind door No. 2. So you do your research, you do all your homework, and then you decide what’s best for you. But right now, I’m very comfortable if Kyle is our guy.”

As of now Trask is the guy, and barring any unforeseen changes or sudden trades, he’ll be the Bucs quarterback in 2023. New offensive coordinator Dave Canales has his work cut out for him with an inexperienced Trask running his offense, something the Bucs haven’t had to worry about the past three seasons. 

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