Can we all please cool our jets about any sort of rift between quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay?
A mere week into the season, the sensitivity police were out in force after Arians had the audacity to publicly criticize his new QB after a sloppy performance in his Tampa Bay debut last Sunday.
You know what? Brady wasn’t good last week, throwing two interceptions, one of which was a pick-six, in a season-opening loss in New Orleans. Much like turnover-machine Jameis Winston, Brady was one of the reasons the Buccaneers lost the game.
“He knew he didn’t play very well,’’ Arians told reporters this past week. “He looked like Tom Brady in practice all the time, so it’s kind of unusual to see that in the ballgame, because they didn’t do the things that we didn’t get ready for. Everything they did, we thought we were ready for.”
In the immediate aftermath of the loss, when Arians was asked about Brady’s turnovers, he was his usual transparent self.
“One was a miscommunication between he and Mike [Evans, receiver]. He thought Mike was going down the middle [and] it was a different coverage. Mike read it right and Tom overthrew it,” Arians said Sunday. Though he corrected himself Monday, saying it was Evans who was at fault. “The other one was a screen pass with an outlet called. He threw the outlet, and it was a pick-six. Bad decision.”
Arians’ honesty was quickly criticized by former NFL quarterback Brett Favre, who took to SiriusXM Radio and warned: “I think the last person you want to call out after the first game of the year is Tom Brady. I think you are barking up the wrong tree. Dissension could easily enter quickly.’’
Can you spell o-v-e-r-r-e-a-c-t-i-o-n?
“Tom and I are fine,’’ Arians said. “I don’t really care what other people think. It’s just what he and I think. We left the stadium fine. We showed up [at work] fine. There ain’t nothin’ to talk about.’’
During training camp, Arians told reporters of Brady: “He gets cussed out like everybody else.’’
When Brady was asked on Thursday about Arians’ comments, he offered only a terse answer, which left open speculation that his nose remained a little out of joint.
“He’s a coach and I’m a player,’’ Brady said. “Just trying to win a game.”
Despite his amazing list of accomplishments, Brady’s a big boy who should be able to take some criticism.
It’s not like he hasn’t endured his share of the wrath of Bill Belichick in his 20 years in New England, where it seemed like the Patriots coach purposely took Brady to task in front of the other players as a message to let them know not even the biggest star is immune from criticism.
Brady, too, has been caught on camera engaged in shouting matches with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels during games. Football is an emotional game. Tempers flare. Feelings are hurt.
Get over it.