Brady 'frustrated' in Bucs offense? NFL OC senses 'trouble'

/ by Darren Hartwell
Presented By Nissan

Tom Brady's growing pains with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are far from over.

The former New England Patriots quarterback has played some excellent games for the Bucs and at one point was a top-five NFL MVP candidate.

But that was before he played one of the worst games of his career in Week 9, throwing three interceptions in a 38-3 blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Brady didn't exactly light up the 1-7 New York Giants the week before, either -- and his performance in that game caught the eye of one NFL offensive coordinator who "sense(s) trouble" in Tampa Bay.

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"Tom didn’t look very good (against the Giants)," the unnamed coordinator told The Athletic's Mike Sando. "He looks frustrated. I think they are having a tough time meshing what Brady wants to do and what (Bucs coach) Bruce (Arians) has always done.

"Brady doesn’t always have good outlets, and Bruce might not be giving him good outlets because he wants to throw it up the field. It will be interesting how that plays out."


Brady relied heavily on short and intermediate passes in New England, especially in recent years: Running back James White led the Patriots in targets from 2017 to 2019.

But Arians traditionally favors a more aggressive downfield passing attack that relies on talented wide receivers like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin over pass-catching running backs.

In fact, Arians appeared to call out Brady for missing Evans a few times in Week 10.

"Mike was open a bunch in that ballgame," Arians said Monday. "He didn’t get targeted – that was all. Mike was open."

Such friction was to be expected after Brady spent two decades with one offense in New England. The 43-year-old has had moments of brilliance, too, and still is distributing the ball liberally: He's targeted 15 different pass-catchers at least five times each this season.

If the 6-3 Bucs want to be Super Bowl contenders, though, Brady will need to get on the same page as Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich to work out any disagreements over play-calling.