Bruce Arians hasn't shied away from criticizing Tom Brady this season, but he took some time Wednesday to praise his 43-year-old quarterback.
Asked about his first season working with Brady, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach had nothing but positive things to say.
“It’s been fantastic. From day one, getting him here [and] watching him prepare and help young players get better – he’s a joy to coach and he’s a fantastic competitor," Arians told reporters. "I love that about him. He’s been there and done it and he’s helped so many of our guys who haven’t [been there] believe that they can. That’s a huge part of it and I couldn’t ask any more out of him.”
There was speculation about a rift between Arians and Brady when Arians said after the team's Week 11 loss to the Los Angeles Rams that Brady was getting "confused by coverages." It wasn't Arians' first time harshly assessing Brady's play in front of the media, either.
Despite the blunt criticism -- something Brady hardly had to endure in New England -- Arians and Brady seem to be on great terms. Arians went on to rave about the six-time Super Bowl champion's discipline and durability.
“I don’t see any drop at all. I’ve had some veteran guys that needed Wednesdays off and he’s not one of those guys," Arians said. "He’s amazing that way and how he takes care of himself. He’s helped a lot of young players learn about taking care of themselves also.”
While Arians and Brady's relationship seems solid, they'll need to get back on track Sunday when they take on the Minnesota Vikings in a pivotal matchup. The Bucs (7-5) have lost three of their last four games, and a loss in Week 14 would make them the No. 7 seed in the NFC.