There were probably lots of times that Tom Brady wished Bill Belichick had lavished more public praise on him after one of his couple hundred good games in New England.
The flip side of Belichick rarely singling anyone out or saying anything interesting after a win is that he also rarely singles anyone out or says anything interesting after a loss.
Think of all the times during a postgame or mid-week press conference or an appearance on Ordway, Merloni and Fauria when Belichick has taken a question about an individual player and quickly pivoted to the team. (i.e. “We need to coach it better. We need to play it better.”)
Now that he’s in Tampa and playing for Bruce Arians, Brady will probably get more public love from his coach after a good game.
But after the Buccaneers’ Week 1 loss to the Saints -- a game in which Brady threw two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown -- Brady is finding out that he’s also going to get more public, pointed and brutally honest criticism after a bad game.
It started after the game when Arians pinned both interceptions on Brady, saying he overthrew Mike Evans on the first and made a bad decision on the second.
On Monday, Arians walked back part of that criticism, saying that upon further review it was actually Evans who misread the coverage on the first pick and ran the wrong option route.
That’s obviously much different than how Belichick would handle a question like that, as his answer postgame would probably amount to something like, “We’ll have to look at the video.” Then if anyone even bothers to ask a follow-up on Monday, he probably finds some other way to not directly answer it and no one can write any headlines about Belichick throwing Brady under the bus.
Instead, Arians’ postgame comments and Monday walk-back have now turned this into a two-day story.
And there’s a lot more where that came from. While Arians let Brady off the hook for that interception, he continued to publicly criticize the rest of his 43-year-old future Hall of Fame quarterback’s game.
On Brady’s pick-six:
Cool. Brady must appreciate having the quarterback position explained to him like he’s a freshman in high school.
More on Brady’s struggles:
Tom must love this!
Wonderful. Nothing like having your coach publicly question your “grit” and “determination.”
One game is one game. Brady presumably knew what he was getting in Arians when he agreed to sign with Tampa. And none of this means Brady and the Bucs can’t or won’t bounce back and go on to do great things.
But what if some of these struggles continue? What if Brady can’t perform like he did a few years ago and this offense never quite takes off like many expect it to?
You’d have to wonder if at some point Brady’s tolerance for Arians’ public comments would reach a breaking point.