Tom Brady did not have the debut that he was looking for in the opening 34-23 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Brady threw two interceptions and admitted himself after the game that he needs to play better.
At his Monday press conference, Arians was critical of Brady and his performance. “He looked like Tom Brady in practice all the time so it’s kind of unusual to see that in a ballgame because the Saints didn’t do things that we didn’t get ready for. Everything they did we thought we were ready for.”
That was the quote that made its rounds on the internet and had tongues wagging that just maybe a problem was brewing between Arians and his star quarterback.
Arians shot down all the rumors today and said he and Brady are fine. “Tom and I are fine, so I don’t care what other people think. It’s just what he and I think. We left the stadium fine. We showed up today fine, so there (is) nothing to talk about.”
The offense was a bit out of synch at times in New Orleans, just as I thought would be the case. Brady, one of the hardest workers on the team will work to get everybody on the same page and eliminate those errors that showed up in New Orleans.
The Bucs may be without one of their top weapons on Sunday. Arians said today that Chris Godwin has entered concussion protocol. Godwin did not practice today. He was hit by Saints defensive back DJ Swearinger late in the game.
Mike Evans was limited in practice today as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
If Godwin cannot go on Sunday, Scotty Miller and Justin Watson should move up on the depth chart. The Bucs could also use the tights ends a bit more than they did last week.
Arians was also critical of tackle Donavan Smith and his performance on Sunday. “I was very disappointed in his play. I think now and then, he reverts to some techniques that aren’t very good. He got beat. He had probably the easiest guy to block up there, and he did a poor job. One of his worst, games and I expect him to bounce back this week.”
Maybe it’s not a coincidence that Smith was also limited in practice today with what is being called a knee injury.
If the Bucs are going to have the kind of success that they anticipate this season, special teams will have to be much better.
Arians was not impressed with what he saw from his special teams against the Saints. Talking about the muffed kick off return, Arians said “That’s just ridiculous. You never back up in that situation. Guys are out there for the first time, but you still don’t anticipate that happening when they’ve been coached not to. We have to get it corrected, that’s for sure.”
The Bucs had a FG attempt blocked, and also miscommunicated on a kick-off return that led to a short field for the Saints.
The Bucs had zero yards in the return game. No kickoffs were returned, and Jayden Mickens who won the return job in training camp made four fair catches on punts with no returns.
The Bucs big-name free agent signees were a non-factor. LeSean McCoy had one catch. Rob Gronkowski one catch. Leonard Fournette had five yards on five carries and one catch for 14 yards.
The Bucs spent around 14 million dollars signing those three players and all they got in game one was three catches and five yards rushing. You would hope that production would improve as the season goes along.
The Bucs will host the Carolina Panthers in an empty Raymond James Stadium in their home opener on Sunday.