Tom Brady had the type of look on his face that screamed: “I need to speak to a manager.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, a future first-ballot Hall of Famer who is in the discussion when it comes to the greatest quarterbacks of all time, stomped off the field following a third-down pass he was forced to threw away because of the pressure he was under and walked up to Bruce Arians as if the retired coach had a customer service badge on his team-issued gear.
Based on Brady’s mannerisms, Arians, who now serves as special assistant to the general manager after abruptly retiring as head coach of the Buccaneers this offseason, was clearly getting the brunt of Brady’s frustration following Wednesday’s joint practice with the Miami Dolphins.
Miami’s defensive front had its way with Tampa Bay’s offensive line, which is having its interior rebuilt after an offseason of free-agent defections, a retirement, and early camp injuries.
The Dolphins’ blitzes rushed Brady on several throws, the defensive front’s physicality limited Tampa Bay’s running, and Miami’s defenders would have produced a couple of sacks if the action were live, like it will be on Saturday night for each team’s first preseason game of 2022.
With the exception of three chunk passes Noah Igbinoghene allowed (he continues to struggle) and Tampa Bay’s effective screen plays where Brady was able to exploit Miami’s aggressiveness when it blitzed, Miami’s defense put together a respectable performance during the first of three times they will line up against the Buccaneers this week.
It was the type of practice which indicates that Josh Boyer’s unit might be ready to pick up where it left off last season.
And I’m not referring to 45-17 rout the Buccaneers handed the Dolphins in mid-October, scoring six touchdowns.
In that game Brady threw for 411 yards and five touchdowns, carving up the Dolphins secondary with Antonio Brown and Mike Evans, who each scored two touchdowns, taking advantage of Xavien Howard and Byron Jones not being fully healthy.
“That was on my mind 24/7. It still is,” Howard said, referring to the blowout after Wednesday’s practice. “That brings a little bit of fire to it. I feel like if you want to get motivated you can watch that game. The people that were there last year, and they see what they did to us.”