Tom Brady on Bruce Arians' criticism: 'He's the coach, I'm a player'

By Rick Stroud, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Football

TAMPA, Fla. - Tom Brady kept his response short if not necessarily sweet Thursday when asked about his reaction the public critique he received from Bucs coach Bruce Arians about his performance in the 34-23 loss to the Saints.

"You know, he's the coach, so ... I'm a player. Just trying to win a game," Brady said tersely.

Arians was publicly critical of Brady's two interceptions immediately after the opening loss.

"One was a miscommunication between (Brady) and Mike (Evans)," Arians said. "He thought Mike (Evans) was going down the middle - it was a different coverage ? Mike read it right. He should have been across his face, but Tom overthrew it.

"The other one was a screen pass with an outlet called. He threw the outlet and it was a pick-six. Bad decision."

Evans admitted Thursday that he ran the wrong route resulting in the first interception. He thought the Saints were in Cover 2 but they played quarters coverage and he had broken off the route.

Arians doubled down on Monday, saying he needed to see more "determination" from Brady in practice this week but admitted Evans had run the wrong route.

The reaction outside of Tampa Bay to Arians' criticism of Brady was swift. Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre said that Arians "was barking up the wrong tree" to call out Brady.

Arians said Wednesday there was no bad blood between him and Brady.


"Tom and I are fine, so I don't really care what other people think," Arians said Wednesday "It's just what he and I think. We left the stadium fine (and) we showed up today fine, so there (is) nothing to talk about."

Brady said the Bucs have a lot to improve upon from Sunday's game and have worked hard in better communication this week in practice.

"I think it's a long process of trying to improve in a lot of different areas," Brady said. "I think about being the best I can be and the process I have to go through in order to make that happen. So every week is a little different challenge. And I think it starts with great communication, understanding how to win the game, how to lose the game. Being on the same page with my teammates so we can go execute.

"So, obviously, if you turn the ball over, it makes it very difficult to win. If you set yourself back with penalties, negative plays, pass game or run game, it's a game of scoring points so you've got to figure out how to score more points than the other team. There's been a lot of focus this week and a lot of communication on types of things."

Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, who played quarterback for Arians in Pittsburgh, said he had no discussion with Brady about Arians' comments.

On the collaboration between him and QB Tom Brady in Week 1 and where they go from there)

"That's what I know of B.A. (Bruce Arians)," Leftwich said. "Me and Tom didn't really talk about it, so obviously I don't think it was an issue. It's B.A. being B.A. All we can worry about is getting to practice, work, get better (and) try to fix our mistakes so we can go out there and try to win football games."

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