Bruce Arians

Why ex-Steelers CB Ike Taylor believes Tom Brady will love playing for Bruce Arians

Why ex-Steelers CB Ike Taylor believes Tom Brady will love playing for Bruce Arians

There's no doubt joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be an odd transition for Tom Brady after spending the last 20 years in New England. But one of Bruce Arians' former players expects the Bucs head coach will make that adjustment as smooth as possible.

Ex-Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor spent eight years with Bruce Arians in Pittsburgh when Arians was an assistant coach. In a recent interview with TMZ, Taylor raved about Arians' coaching style and was adamant Brady will enjoy playing for him in Tampa Bay.

"He's a player's coach," Taylor said. "BA is the ultimate player's coach.

"Just think about it. Tom Brady's finally leaving -- I don't know what kind of coach is Bill Belichick, but coach Belichick walks a tight ship and organization. Just from being around BA, Tom Brady is getting a player's coach who for the most part just going to let him be him."

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So it sounds like Brady will enjoy a more laid-back atmosphere than what he experienced in New England, but that's no surprise. The real question is whether Brady will be able to meet in the middle with Arians and adjust to a different offensive scheme.

Taylor doesn't see it becoming an issue.

"I would say six or eight games throughout the season the offense should be clicking," he said.

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In addition to having a "player's coach," Brady will benefit from having more weapons at his disposal in Tampa's offense. The 42-year-old QB will have two of the game's top wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, along with Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard as his pass-catching tight ends.

Bruce Arians: Tom Brady, Antonio Brown reunion with Bucs 'not gonna happen'

Bruce Arians: Tom Brady, Antonio Brown reunion with Bucs 'not gonna happen'

Tom Brady likes the idea of playing football with Antonio Brown. He's kept in touch with the one-time (a very brief time) Patriot since Brown was released by New England last season. The two connected with each other as recently as Super Bowl week, according to our Tom E. Curran. 

But Brady and Brown will not be making any on-the-field connections any time soon. Bucs coach Bruce Arians told the Tiki and Tierney Show in no uncertain terms that Brown will not be joining his team.

"Yeah, it's not gonna happen," Arians said. "It's not gonna happen. There's no room. And probably not enough money. It's just not gonna happen. It's not a fit here."

Show host Brandon Tierney pressed Arians on the subject, asking him whether he'd have the same opinion of Brown if the wideout was willing to take a league-minimum salary. 

"No," Arians said, flatly. "I just know him, and it's not a fit in our locker room."

Arians and Brown crossed paths in Pittsburgh during the 2010 and 2011 seasons -- Brown's first two in the NFL -- when Arians was the Steelers offensive coordinator. 

Brady, of course, will have plenty of talent at his disposal in 2020. Even if Brown has no shot of reuniting with the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have an argument as the game's most dynamic receiving duo, and tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate are more than capable options at that position. 

The Bucs own the No. 14 pick in the draft and could have their choice of one of the top receivers in the draft class if they were insistent upon surrounding Brady with as much pass-catching talent as possible this year. 

Brown, though, it's clear, is not going to be part of that plan.

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Tom Brady can't throw the deep ball? Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians isn't buying it

Tom Brady can't throw the deep ball? Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians isn't buying it

Bruce Arians has been known for his vertical passing game as NFL head coach and offensive coordinator. With a soon-to-be-43-year-old quarterback, he's not about to shy away from the deep ball and scoffs at the notion that Tom Brady has lost something when it comes to airing the ball out.

"I think the perception is just wrong," the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach said of that criticism of his future Hall of Fame quarterback, via Jenna Laine of ESPN. 

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"I thought his deep ball was outstanding last year. Through their play-action game, they hit a lot of deep balls. And our quarterback -- I thought he put it as good as anybody -- throw it to the guy who's open."

Brady had the seventh-highest completion rate in the NFL last season on passes traveling 20 or more yards in the air at 43 percent. The league average was 38 percent. Brady also threw seven touchdown passes that went 20 or more yards in the air, his most in 13 years. Not bad for an offense that lacked a legitimate deep-threat receiver.

Arians appeared to be referring to his former starter Jameis Winston, who last season became the first NFL QB to have 30 interceptions and 30 TDs, when the coach talked about QBs he's had that who looked deep too often. (Winston also led the league with 102 passes that traveled 20 yards or more.) 

"We do have reads that start deep and come in short, but I've had a couple of quarterbacks that just keep looking deep -- they won't throw the checkdown," Arians said. "[Offensive consultant] Tom Moore [the former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator with Peyton Manning] has the best saying in the world: 'You don't go broke putting money in the bank. Take the damn checkdown.' 

"We don't have to teach Tom that."