Bucs HC dismisses controversy over Brady’s game plan adjustments
The Bucs suffered their biggest loss of the season on Sunday against Brock Purdy and the 49ers. A 35-7 puffiness showed many of the same problems that have plagued the offense all year. Lack of creativity, poor playcalling and sequencing, and lack of execution all contributed to the loss.
Sunday night San Francisco Chronicle writer Mike Silver gave his own take on the matter, citing Bucs quarterback Tom Brady as part of the problem. In his article, Silver insinuated that Brady is meeting his offensive skill players and reviewing the game plan. It is well documented how the 23-year-old veteran, who is a movie junkie, often has these meetings to discuss perceived mismatches and tendencies he notices in the opposition.
However, what Silver suggested is that he does this without involving head coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.
“The level of responsibility Brady places on himself has always been enormous, and this year he is being pushed to the max,” writes Silver. For example, the night before each game, Brady holds a separate meeting with the Bucs’ skill players, where he reviews the game plan, makes adjustments to assignments and formations, and provides a revised blueprint — one that freshman head coach Todd Bowles, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and the rest of the staff must find out in real time once the game starts.
The claim is a stretch considering that Brady and his teammates have been vocal about these meetings and late-night text exchanges in the past. For the most part, the future Hall of Fame quarterback has little input on what the game is called outside of the two-minute and rushing offense. The Bucs quarterback is not a field general like Peyton Manning was, and routinely abides by the play called in the group.
Bucs HC Bowles says Brady’s adaptations are nothing new
At his Monday press conference, Bowles rebuked claims that he and Leftwich have been kept in the dark about any revisions or tweeks and offered that he is not the only position group holding these meetings.
“No, we know what’s going on in the meeting and we know all the adjustments,” Bowles said. “The defensive guys also meet alone. We have different position groups that also meet only to get together before a match. That’s nothing… that’s not new.”
While Leftwich has received most of the attention this season, and rightfully so, Brady has not been cleared of his part in this offence. The game plan is a collaborative effort of not just the two, but multiple members of staff and other players. However, when the game starts, it’s Leftwich who calls the plays and Brady does his best to execute them.
“Well, it’s a collaboration,” Bowles continued. “It is a collaboration with [quarterbacks coach] Clyde[Christensen)TomooksomeofthereceiversdeeptryingtogettherightplaysthathelikesthethingsthatByronlikesandthenfitittogetherIt’sbeenlikethatsincehe’sbeenhere”[Christensen)TomookenkelevandeontvangersdieproberendejuistetoneelstukkentekrijgendiehijleukvindtdedingendieByronleukvindtenhetdaninelkaarpassenDatisalzosindshijhieris”[Christensen)TomsomeofthereceiversaswelltryingtogettherightplaysinthathelikesthethingsthatByronlikesandthenmeshingittogetherIt’sbeenlikethatsincehe’sbeenhere”
It’s okay to wonder what the offense might look like if more of what Brady likes were incorporated into the offense. What we’ve seen of the play-calling outside two minutes and hurry has been uninspiring, frankly.
Lack of pre-snap movement, creativity for getting guys open, and rare use of play action, which the Bucs are one of the better teams when using, have left this attack a shell of its former self. But to suggest that the wrestling falls on Brady for making overnight adjustments to the “blueprint” falls short.
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