There are weeks where Tom Brady looks as good as he's ever been, playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year. On others, he seems very out of sorts with his new franchise, and an offense with some major complimentary pieces.
The fit under head coach Bruce Arians, who loves to air it out, always seemed like an incongruous one for the aging Brady. His game has relief on accuracy in the intermediate passing game for years now, while Arians has always liked his quarterbacks to air it out. With a guy like Mike Evans at QB1, the offense was clearly built more for a big armed quarterback like Jameis Winston, the starter before this year.
There have been some rumors of a rift between Brady and Arians over the last few weeks. "If you’re Arians, you’re saying ‘This is what you wanted. We got you everything you asked for,'" ESPN's Dan Graziano said earlier this week, citing the Brady-led signings of Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, and others. "'Why aren’t you delivering? Why doesn’t it look like it looks in practice?’"
Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich was asked whether Brady is being put in position to succeed in his and Arians' offense. He shot down the idea that the team has put a square peg in a round hole with this offense.
"The quarterback is the offense. I say that all the time," Leftwich said in response to a question by ESPN's Jenna Laine, about Tom Brady "trying to play someone else's offense."
Like Arians, it doesn't sound like Leftwich is interested in hearing that the offense that he's helped build isn't one best suited for his quarterback's talents.
The challenges don't get easier for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They face Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon.