Bruce Arians, the former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, enjoyed poking fun at Tom Brady when he was in charge. Not much has changed since Jason Licht became senior counsel to the general manager.
Arians defended offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, who had been under fire for the club’s troubles before to Sunday’s win against Seattle in Germany, in an interview with Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsFan.com.
Arians said, “I don’t believe that was fair to Byron.” There was a time when the play-caller had to say, “Forget this, I’m putting the ball in Tom’s hands” because the team was losing yards by running the ball. “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.”
It’s hardly unexpected that Arians would lay the responsibility at Brady’s feet in order to defend his former OC, given how publicly Arians blasted Brady while he was the head coach. Conversely, it is rare for someone who is not in control of day-to-day operations to offer remarks, especially if they are unfavorable in tone.
Arians is, as usual, not like other cats.
I think we can finish the season strong,” he remarked. Tom smiled during practice this week for the first time this season; he’ll be OK. I appreciate the attitude we played with on Sunday, particularly defensively; it’s been lacking. Seattle has a solid rushing club, but that kid (Kenneth Walker) went nowhere.
With Sunday’s win, the Bucs are now alone atop the NFC South. Since they have the NFC’s easiest remaining schedule, Tom Brady and company should be able to cruise to the playoffs if they continue to play like they did in Week 10.