Bruce Arians clearly has no problem rocking the boat.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffered an embarrassing 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night at Raymond James Stadium. Tom Brady had his worst performance in a Bucs uniform, throwing three interceptions while taking an absolute beating.
Arians didn’t sound too concerned about Brady immediately after the Week 9 defeat, but the Buccaneers coach seemingly threw shade at the veteran quarterback Monday during a video conference with reporters.
Arians was asked why Tampa Bay’s offense isn’t making an effort to get Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Evans more involved in the passing attack.
“Mike was open a bunch in that ballgame,” Arians said. “He didn’t get targeted — that was all. Mike was open.”
Hmmm. Sure sounds like a subtle dig at Brady, no?
Evans finished with four catches on six targets for 64 yards although Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore completely neutralized Evans in 1-on-1 coverage.
Evans has been a solid red-zone target this season, catching seven touchdowns in nine games, but he’s otherwise been inconsistent. And Arians evidently believes the wideout’s lack of production in Week 9 was a product of Brady’s underwhelming execution.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Arians has called out Brady’s play, as the coach also turned heads with his assessment of the QB in wake of Tampa Bay’s Week 1 loss to New Orleans. Everything worked out fine in that instance, with Brady putting together a solid stretch as the Bucs won six of their next seven games. Maybe this will spark a similar turnaround.
Then again, Brady, a six-time Super Bowl champion in his 20th NFL season, probably could do without the verbal jabs from his boss every time he struggles to meet expectations.