Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians, QB Tom Brady having ‘great collaboration’

May 7, 2020, 10:13 AM
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians speaks during a press conference at the NFL football s...

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Coronavirus is keeping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from literal huddles, but it’s not stopping coach Bruce Arians and new quarterback Tom Brady from learning one another in preparation for the 2020 season.

Arians has coached the likes of Carson Palmer with the Cardinals, Andrew Luck of the Colts and Ben Roethlisberger with the Steelers, but none of those big names brought such a resume to the no risk-it, no biscuit offense as Brady.

“Six rings. He’s won everywhere he’s been and he’s, to me, one of the classic guys who has played with a chip on his shoulder for years,” Arians told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Thursday when he dropped in for Legends Week.

Leaving the New England Patriots this offseason, Brady joined a Tampa Bay squad that had two of the top-15 NFL receivers in terms of total yardage a year ago: Chris Godwin and Mike Evans.

Brady also drew former New England Patriots teammate and tight end Rob Gronkowski out of retirement to play for the Bucs.

With more weapons and Brady replacing erratic quarterback Jameis Winston, Arians expects that his offense won’t change much in philosophy.

The Buccaneers want to use the running game led by veteran Ronald Jones, backup Dare Ogunbowale and perhaps 2020 draft picks Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Ronald Calais to set up Arians’ vertical attack.

Brady’s abilities won’t keep Tampa Bay from that, even though he’ll be 43 years old by the start of the season.

“I think being able to do maybe some more check-with-me runs and get us in the right runs … (Brady) did a great job his last three or four years — (the Patriots) did a great job with the same style of play-action that we’ve used, finding deep crossing routes and balls down the field,” Arians said.

“He’s still a really good play-action quarterback.”

During this downtime, when teams can only meet over video calls as facilities remain closed, Arians and Brady have been getting to know one another. What does Brady like to do, and how does it fit into a malleable Arians offense?

“It’s been a great collaboration so far of learning our system and then adapting things that he really likes,” Arians said. “Nomenclature is easy — we can call it anything we want. I’m sure we have it (already in the system). The big thing for him and me is putting our (other) guys in the right positions for doing the things we like to do.”

It’s all part of a process. As for whether there will be conflicts between quarterback and coach, well, that’s unavoidable once practices and games come into the picture.

Arians, who’s never been known to hold his tongue, admits he might yell a few choice words at his new quarterback, as great as Brady might be.

“Of course,” Arians said. “He’s used to it anyway.”

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Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians, QB Tom Brady having ‘great collaboration’