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Bucs' Bruce Arians Calls Reported Rift with Tom Brady Before Retiring 'Such Bulls--t'

Scott Polacek

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians was not pleased he even had to address rumors he had a poor relationship with Tom Brady.

"I mean, that's such bulls--t‚" Arians said, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. "That's what pisses me off. I guess probably Byron [Leftwich] could corroborate this, too."

Arians addressed the rumors after former NFL lineman Rich Ohrnberger tweeted that his "relationship was souring" with Brady.

"Apparently, while Arians was rehabbing the Achilles in the early mornings, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and Brady would work on the week's game plan," Ohrnberger said. "Arians would later come in and take the red pen to work they'd done. The QB and OC felt undermined; there was tension."

Arians also pointed to specific errors, saying he doesn't rehab his Achilles in the morning and doesn't use a red pen like the tweet purported.

As for Ohrnberger, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noted he "made waves on Friday by tweeting a phony story about Patrick Mahomes that someone had been sending to multiple media members in the hopes of getting someone to bite," which was Florio's way of saying the Brady-Arians rumor should be taken with a grain of salt.

Stroud also pointed out Arians has left offensive game planning to Leftwich as the offensive coordinator the past three seasons.

All Tampa Bay has done is finish in the top three in total offense and scoring in each of those three seasons, and Brady led the league with 5,316 passing yards and 43 touchdown passes in 2021.

So it appears as if the relationship between Arians and Brady was fine, and the pair helped Tampa Bay win the Super Bowl during the 2020 campaign and the NFC South title in 2021. Brady is now retired, but that hasn't stopped speculation about whether he will return after such an impressive season even at 44 years old.

Brady previously said "You never say never" when talking about the chance of returning during his podcast (h/t Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times), and Florio even reported "There's a definite and palpable sense that he will play again; some in league circles already believe he could be back by July. Of this year."

Whether that happens remains to be seen, but Arians' comments make it fairly clear Brady wouldn't rule out a return to the Buccaneers because of his relationship with the coach.          


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