Why Ex-NFL Exec Questions Whether Tom Brady Fits In Buccaneers’ Offense


The Buccaneers catapulted themselves into the Super Bowl LV discussion this offseason by signing Tom Brady, the most decorated quarterback in NFL history.

But does Brady actually fit in Tampa Bay’s offense?

Former NFL executive Mike Tannenbaum, who once served as the New York Jets’ general manager and the Miami Dolphins’ executive vice president of football operations, isn’t so sure.

You see, Bucs quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen recently told The Athletic that head coach Bruce Arians wants to “keep the offense the same” in 2020, describing his vision as “Bruce’s offense with a Brady influence.”

On one hand, this make sense given Tampa Bay’s offensive success last season despite inconsistent quarterback play from Jameis Winston. But on the other, it makes zero sense, as Arians’ offense typically relies on a lot of downfield passes and consequently exposes the quarterback to serious physical punishment.

“There’s a lot to like about Bruce Arians’ offense, but his quarterbacks get hit a lot,” Tannenbaum said on Thursday’s episode of “Get Up” on ESPN. “If you look at the last number of spots he’s been at, his quarterbacks get hit, they get sacked quite a bit. And if you look at the last two years, only Drew Brees was sacked or hit less than Tom Brady.

“(Brady’s) turning 43 years old this August. I’ve been with over-40-year-old quarterbacks — Brett Favre, Vinny Testaverde — (and) they do not like to get hit. That is a concern. And they’ll have some time to work it out in terms of protections, who’s hot, adjustments, things like that. But that is the No. 1 thing they have to solidify, is protection in Bruce Arians’ offense.”

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All told, the Bucs might be better off tweaking their offense to fit Brady. Not the other way around.

Sure, the New England Patriots’ offense — led by Brady and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels — didn’t light the world on fire last season, but Tampa Bay boasts far better weapons, including old friend Rob Gronkowski. And shouldn’t it be about getting Brady acclimated with his new organization as quickly as possible?

“This is a weird offseason for everybody,” Tannenbaum said. “And we keep talking about Brees and (Sean) Payton (of the New Orleans Saints) against Bruce and Tom on opening day. It’s not a fair fight. It’s going to take some for this Tampa Bay offense to get rolling.”

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Thumbnail photo via Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports Images

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