Rich Ohrnberger doubles down on claims of Tom Brady, Bruce Arians dysfunction
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians tried to shout down former NFL player Rich Ohrnberger. It didn’t work.
After Arians’s characteristically profane (and I’m fine with that) response to Ohrnberger’s Friday claim of a tense and souring relationship in Tampa between Arians and quarterback Tom Brady, Ohrnberger doubled down with a series of Saturday night tweets.
Ohrnberger began by explaining that Brady and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich were “responsible for the entirety of the offensive game plan,” and that Arians would take a figurative red pen to their work. Ohrnberger also said that Brady and Leftwich had “major disagreements . . . on strategy, especially regarding the run game.”
Ohrnberger added that, “at a certain point during the 2021 season, Brady successfully seized control of the offensive game plan, adjusting play calls he didn’t believe would work.” Added Ohrnberger: “Additionally, there was a feeling of resentment inside the building toward Arians.”
More Ohrnberger: “While others worked around the clock in Tampa to build a winner, Head Football Coach Bruce Arians had a much lighter work schedule, per multiple impregnable sources.”
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times responded to Ohrnberger by contending that Arians took the job on the condition of not game planning, that he had no figurative red pen, that it was always Leftwich and Brady doing the game planning, and that it worked.
Ohrnberger replied by reiterating that his sources are “impregnable,” and by pointing out that on-field success isn’t an indication that “relationships are/were on steady footing.”
Although Ohrnberger recently was duped (and admitted it) into tweeting that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes told his fiancée and brother not to attend games because of their in-stadium antics, Ohrnberger backed off after he realized he’d been fooled. On this point, Ohrnberger may indeed have impregnable sources.
First, he played with Brady for three years in New England. While I’m not saying one of his sources was Brady, (1) they clearly know each other and (2) Brady would be an “impregnable” source.
Second, the folks at JoeBucsFan.com have explained that Ohrnberger said on his radio show that he was “talking to a guy who’s pretty embedded with the Bucs,” and that Ohrnberger played college football at Penn State with Buccaneers assistant coach A.Q. Shipley.
How’s the relationship between Ohrnberger and Shipley? A 2008 article in the Penn State school paper described Shipley as one of Ohrnberger’s closet friends on the team. The following year, Ohrnberger posed as Shipley for a 15-minute conference call with reporters.
In 2018, Shipley appeared on Ohrnberger’s radio show, and Ohrnberger opened the interview with this: “Teammate of mine, a guy who I love. This is one of my brothers.”
While it’s considered taboo among reporters to guess their sources (that’s never stopped me), Ohrnberger isn’t a reporter. Also, he opened the door to this kind of stuff by dropping bombs on Bucco Bruce and calling the sources “impregnable.”
Look at it this way. Given the relationship between Ohrnberger and Shipley, common sense suggests that, even if Ohrnberger didn’t hear it first from Shipley, he surely would have run it by him.
We can choose to believe or to not believe whatever we want. I believe Ohrnberger. As noted last night, I also believe Arians protested Ohrnberger’s claims just a little too much.