Tom Brady Pushing Bruce Arians Out in Tampa Says a Lot About Bill Belichick

Brady, who wanted out of New England, may have learned that the grass isn't always greener

Bruce Arians talks with quarterback Tom Brady at FedExField
Bruce Arians talks with quarterback Tom Brady at FedExField.
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Though some media members are insisting that Bruce Arians stepping aside as the head coach of the Buccaneers had nothing to do with Tom Brady retiring and then un-retiring, it seems fairly obvious that TB12 wouldn’t be back in Tampa Bay if his former coach was still running the Bucs.

At his farewell press conference, an unprompted Arians denied that was the case. “All the players, there are a few in here, every one of them has gotten cussed out, including him,” Arians said of Brady. “That’s just part of me. That’s nothing new. We have a great relationship. People got to write shit. It couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Former NFL offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger, who was briefly Brady’s teammate with the Patriots, didn’t write any “shit” about the situation, but he did shed some light on the alleged beef between the 44-year-old quarterback and his former coach during an appearance on The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon. Per Ohrnberger, who had specific details about what was happening in Tampa more than a month ago, Brady became upset with the work ethic of his coach because it wasn’t up to snuff with what he was accustomed to in New England with Bill Belichick.

“The rift was caused between him and Bruce because Brady is a complete workaholic. Bruce, as you know, has really trimmed his schedule down. That was part of his contract when he re-upped with the Buccaneers,” Ohrnberger said on the show. “It’s a job where if you’re not burning the midnight oil, you’re burning the next morning oil, and then some. That’s the way Tom Brady operated for two decades in New England. As for what I heard about issues with other members of the coaching staff, there were battles over the run game between him and Byron Leftwich. They disagreed on a lot of the play selection during the course of the game. Brady changed a lot of the calls that were coming in from the sidelines during the game.”

There’s a lot to unpack there from Ohrnberger, who took a victory lap on Twitter after his February report about the rift between Brady and Arians was validated when the 69-year-old coach stepped aside, but the gist of what he is saying is that Brady became unhappy with the coaching he was receiving from Arians and the rest of the staff in Tampa, so he started to take matters into his own hands. That things allegedly got to the point that Brady was openly defying his coaches and calling his own plays speaks to a level of dysfunction that would have made winning a single game difficult, let alone a Super Bowl. That’s something that never would have happened in New England, as it was pretty clear when he left the Patriots that Brady’s issue was with Belichick the person, not Belichick the coach.

“Thank you, BA for all that you have done for me and our team,” Brady wrote on social media after Arians retired. “You are an incredible man and coach, and it was a privilege to play for you.”

If Arians was more like Belichick and Brady thought he gave the Bucs the best chance to win, he’d still be coaching.

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