Arians claims Tom Brady 'wasn't himself' in final season with Bucs

Tom Brady Bruce Arians

Tom Brady only had one losing season in his 22 years as an NFL starting quarterback, and it came last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bruce Arians has an explanation for that.

Arians was Brady's head coach in Tampa Bay during the 2020 and 2021 seasons before transitioning to a front-office consulting role in 2022. While he wasn't working directly with Brady on the field this past season, Arians still noticed something different about the 45-year-old in 2022.

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"Tom wasn’t himself, you know, with all the things that were going on," Arians said Thursday on "The Rich Eisen Show." "I've got to give him all the credit in the world for battling through what he went through last year for his teammates. I think the world of him, but it wasn’t the real Tom Brady out there."

Arians was referencing Brady's struggles with his personal life, highlighted by the QB's divorce from Gisele Bundchen, his wife of 13 years, in October. Brady admitted before the season even began that he had "a lot of s--- going on" outside football and took an 11-day hiatus from the Bucs in the middle of the preseason in August.


Brady still put up impressive numbers, leading the NFL in completions (490) while racking up 4,694 passing yards with 25 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He also posted the lowest touchdown percentage of his career, however (3.4 percent), and the Bucs ranked 25th in the NFL before falling to the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Wild Card round.

Bucs beat reporters also noticed that Brady lost a significant amount of weight during the season, another sign that his off-field situation was taking a toll on him. So, perhaps it's not surprising that Brady announced he's retiring "for good" earlier this month.

Arians says he's taking the quarterback at his word this time.

"I definitely think so," Arians said when asked if Brady will stay retired. "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; he's one busy dude."