Much has been made about the divorce between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, despite both sides refusing to say anything except how thankful they are for each other. Most of the smoke has come from national media pundits simply looking to stir the pot, but recently Bucs head coach Bruce Arians decided to dump gasoline on the fire just when it seemed it was going out.
“Tom is playing for his teammates right now,” Arians told Sports Illustrated. “He wants those guys to experience what he’s experienced six times. I think personally, too, he’s making a statement. You know? It wasn’t all coach [Bill] Belichick.”
That’s not the first time Arians has referenced the Patriots and Belichick in a somewhat disparaging way. After the Bucs beat the Saints in the divisional round of the playoffs, Arians highlighted one of the key differences between he and Belichick’s style of coaching.
“New England didn’t allow him to coach,” Arians said. “I allow him to coach. I just sit back sometimes and watch.”
Arians is known for speaking his mind to the media, and I enjoy that side of him. But I highly doubt that Belichick didn’t let Brady do any “coaching” while the quarterback was in New England for 20 years, although it may pale in comparison to the amount of communication Arians encourages Brady to have with his teammates.
To his credit, Brady has continually shot down any suggestion of a rift between he and his former head coach, saying he has “never once in my life” thought about proving he could win without Belichick. That hasn’t stopped the speculation however, and Arians comments will likely only fuel the debate further.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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