Bruce Arians on Tom Brady's Buccaneers Debut: 'He Knew He Didn't Play Very Well'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2020

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) walks off the field after an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)
Brett Duke/Associated Press

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians didn't mince words when describing the struggles of quarterback Tom Brady during Sunday's 34-23 loss to the New Orleans Saints, though he expects the six-time champion to be better going forward. 

"He knows how to bounce back. He knew he didn't play very well," Arians told reporters. "It's not what he expects from himself nor to we expect. ... I would expect him to have a little more grit, a little more determination this week."

Brady, 43, offered a mixed bag Sunday. He finished 23-of-36 for 239 yards and two scores and rushed for another touchdown. But he threw two interceptions and was sacked three times. To put the interceptions in perspective, Brady threw just eight in 2019 and has posted double-digit interceptions in a season just once since 2014. 

That Brady turned the ball over twice—one of which resulted in a defensive touchdown for cornerback Janoris Jenkins—was more than a little surprising. There will be some questions about whether Brady, who thrived in New England's quick-hitting offense, will struggle in Arians' downfield-throwing scheme. 

Regardless, there's little doubt he needs to be better than he was Sunday if the Bucs are going to match their lofty preseason expectations and become a contender. Brady acknowledged as much after the game.

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"It certainly was poor execution," he told reporters. "That's what it comes down to. It's a game of execution and obviously they made more plays than we did and I made some bad, terrible turnovers and it's hard to win turning the ball over like that. Obviously, I've got to do a much better job.

"They were bad throws. That's what it comes down to. Bad throws. Can't do it."