The former Tampa Bay head coach weighed in on the team's coaching criticisms.
The Buccaneers' slow start to the season has led to fans criticizing the coaching staff, with many calling for the team to move on from offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. Yet, Tampa Bay’s former head coach thinks that was unfair.
Bruce Arians, who retired as the Buccaneers head coach in the offseason, believes Tom Brady deserved more of the blame than he was initially getting.
“I don’t think it was fair to Byron,” Arians said, via JoeBucsFan.com. “Nobody is going to say that Brady was playing bad, but he was playing bad. We also had growing pains on a young offensive front and we weren’t running well. There comes a time as a play-caller when you’re losing yards running the ball and you say, ‘Forget this, I’m putting the ball in Tom’s hands.’”
General manager Jason Licht also defended Leftwich, saying the offensive coordinator is not bothered by the outside criticism.
Arians first fired Leftwich as his quarterbacks coach with the Cardinals, then brought him over to Tampa Bay as offensive coordinator when the Buccaneers hired Arians in 2019. While Leftwich has been the primary play caller for all four seasons, he is now the highest ranked offensive coach since former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles replaced Arians this year.
Despite the rocky start, Tampa Bay enters its bye week on a two-game winning streak and in first place in the NFC South at 5–5. On the season, Tom Brady has thrown for 2,805 yards with 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He also leads the league in both pass completions and attempts.
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