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York High grad Bruce Arians blunt in criticism of Tom Brady, wants more grit, determination

RICK STROUD
Tampa Bay Times (TNS)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians talks to quarterback Tom Brady (12) during an NFL football training camp practice Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. Brady struggled in his first game with the Bucs on Sunday.
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

TAMPA — New Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is unable to escape pressure.

It came from the New Orleans Saints defense after they intercepted him twice and sacked him three times in Sunday’s 34-23 loss.

It continued from coach Bruce Arians. The York High graduate spared no feelings in his critique of the iconic quarterback Monday.

“He’s had it before. I mean, he knows how to bounce back," Arians said of Brady. “He knew he didn’t play very well. It’s not what he expects from himself nor do we expect. I would expect him to have a little more grit, a little more determination this week.”

Brady passed for 239 yards with two touchdown passes and two interceptions, including a pick-six by Janoris Jenkins, which almost put the game out of reach.

Arians said the first interception, however, was a miscommunication with Mike Evans. After reviewing the tape, Arians said Evans misread the coverage and should have bent the route over the middle of the field where Brady threw the football that was picked off by safety Marcus Williams.

It all added up for a very rough debut for Brady, who is learning a new offensive system under Arians without the benefit of a offseason or preseason games.

”He looked like Tom Brady in practice all the time so it’s kind of unusual to see that in a ball game because they didn’t do things that we didn’t get ready for," Arians said. “Everything they did we thought we were ready for. Some wide receivers have to do a better job of winning one-on-one when he decides to go their way. He put us in the right run checks a couple times. It was a learning experience that way.”

Arians says it’s hard to say that Brady and the receivers didn’t have chemistry after watching them drive 85 yards for a touchdown on their first possession.

“Can’t say we were out of sync because we started out as good as you can start out right down the field,” Arians said. "Then we don’t get any more chunk plays other than pass interference penalties. So, yeah, I think it’s a great learning experience. It’s just Round 1 of a 16-round fight and we’ll learn from it.

''It’s just a situation where all that verbiage, when you’re under the gun, it’s different. And now you’re getting hit for the first time, too. So it’s all different."

Arians said there was no excuse for Brady’s pass attempt to Justin Watson on the sideline that was returned for a score.

“It speaks for itself,” Arians said. “If you’re throwing an out-route, you don’t throw it low and inside. And hasn’t been the case up until that one. He was a little late on it and probably better decision to go somewhere else with the ball.”

Arians also ripped left tackle Donovan Smith, a former Penn State standout. Smith allowed two of the three sacks of Brady, along with penetration on a run play that resulted in a loss.

Smith is in the second season of a three-year, $41.25 million contract and will earn $14.5 million this season. None of his $14.25 million salary in 2021 is guaranteed.

Arians said that Smith fell into some bad habits trying to block guys such as Troy Hendrickson and Carl Granderson — not household names such as Cameron Jordan.

“Yeah, I was very disappointed in his play,” Arians said of Smith. “I think every now and then he reverts back to some techniques that aren’t very good. He got beat. He had probably the easiest guy to block up there and he did a poor job. It’s probably one of his poorer games and we expect him to bounce back this week.”