Bruce Arians’ play-calling and his working relationship with Tom Brady have come into question in recent weeks, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach insists the team’s offense is built around his star quarterback’s preferences.
In an off-camera interview with NFL Network’s Mike Silver, Arians said Brady is “picking the plays” during weekly game-planning, as well as in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage.
“All of the above,” Arians said, according to Silver, “and it’s been that way for a while now. . . . We call what he picks. We just have to get better.”
The Bucs (7-5) have dropped three of their last four games entering their bye week, including Sunday’s 27-24 loss to Kansas City. Brady has thrown multiple interceptions in each of the three losses.
The three-time NFL MVP abruptly ended his brief postgame press conference Sunday after answering a question about Arians and “running someone else’s offense.”
“It’s just external noise that when you are losing, that’s what you deal with,” Brady said. “I love playing with the guys that I play with, the coaches, the whole organization has been unbelievable.
“I think I have to go out and certainly do a better job the last four weeks of the year. So, I appreciate it. Let’s have a good week.”
Following the Bucs’ loss the previous week to the Rams, Arians had pointed out the 43-year-old Brady was dealing with a matter of “continuity” after 20 years with the New England Patriots.
“We’ve got the guys open. We’ve just missed ’em,” Arians said. “I think he’s getting confused a few times with coverage that might be causing some inaccurate balls, but I don’t see it at all in practice. We’re not missing the deep ball in practice, that’s for sure, so it’s just a matter of, on Sundays, hitting ’em.”
In an interview with CBS ahead of Sunday’s games against the Chiefs, Arians was asked about his recent criticism of Brady’s play and replied, “It’s not criticism. It’s honesty.”