Catching Excuses

November 27th, 2020

Former NFL cornerback Antonio Cromartie

A former Pro Bowl player for Bruce Arians is wagging a finger at his old coach for, well, perhaps bending the truth.

Antonio Cromartie was a guest on “Undisputed” this week with Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe and provocateur Skip Bayless.

The former Dallas sports columnist, Bayless, is outraged that Arians dares publicly speak ill of park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, jet-ski-losing, handshake-stiffing Bucs quarterback Tom Brady.

Cromartie told Bayless it is unfair to go after Arians for that because it’s who he is. It’s what he does.

“No, it is not,” Cromartie said when asked if criticism of Arians calling out Brady is kosher.

“[Arians] was that same way with Carson Palmer. He’s not a guy who is going to hold his tongue. He’s not going to bite his tongue.”

Cromartie, however, threw a challenge flag at Arians when Arians said one reason the Bucs continue to have Brady throw long balls despite his atrocious percentage is because he completes the same passes in practice.

“Practice and a game is totally different,” Cromartie said. “Especially now the way you are paying these guys so much money. … So you can’t sit there and think about it as, ‘Oh, he’s making throws in practice.’ [Brady] doesn’t have people at his feet [in practice]. He doesn’t have people in his face or [is] getting hit.

“[Brady] has more time in practice so he can complete those throws. And that’s not happening [in games].”

Then Cromartie offered a very interesting peek into an NFL game-week practice that no one but NFL players and NFL employees see, since media only gets a brief viewing window that is rarely more than stretching and a drill or two. Basically, Cromartie said players aren’t going 100 percent because they don’t want to hurt themselves or their teammates.

“We aren’t competing on deep balls because we don’t want to get our feet tangled and guys get hurt,” Cromartie said. “So we are not going to do that [and bust tail like in a game].

“So when you have that [long pass plays] in practice, it’s going to look totally different when guys are competing [in a game] to make sure your guys don’t catch the ball.”

While Cromartie said this about practices, Sharpe was nodding his head up and down as if to say, “You’re right.”

Joe isn’t saying Arians is fibbing and neither did Cromartie. But Cromartie said completing bombs in practice is a far cry from completing bombs in a game — and that Arians is keenly aware of this.

12 Responses to “Catching Excuses”

  1. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Tom is fine with a clean pocket, but if there is turbulence then he is not comfortable and suddenly he looks 43. So clean jersey it is all good, if not, they need to be better at running the football. They should run whatever Tom is comfortable, they brought him in, and payed him. Eithet that or they will maybe win a playoff game or 2 but not a championship. We will see, GO BUCS!!!!

  2. ModHairKen Says:

    The deep passes will eventually start being completed. There is no reason they won’t. Brady has the arm. The WRs can get open. The OL can pass protect.

    The issue is timing and repetition. Timing of the play call (don’t keep calling it at the wrong time, BL) and timing during the play (early, not when the blocking is collapsing). As for repetition, first you do it consistently in practice, and then in live action. While it is true that this is week 11, the missed camp and preseason is when the real work has to be done. So, it is simply taking longer.

    In the meantime, how about some quick slants and some RBs who catch the ball?

    Bucs will beat KC, leading to questions about KC and reigniting the Bucs as the media darling. Why? Because people in the media obsess week to week about the future.

    Successful teams start by winning more than losing. What was 4-7 in 2019 is 7-4 in 2020.

    Be happy.

  3. Hodad Says:

    Brady hasn’t been a deep ball thrower since his days with R.Moss. That was a long time ago. Brady has won 6 S.B.’s dinking, and dunking the ball down the field with speedy play makers. He’s to old, not mobile enough, and can’t take the hits required to throw deep all day. Arains has taken the GOAT, and turned him into an old white version of Winston. Was it Leftwich who did it? Who knows who’s really calling the shots on offense, BA, or BL?

  4. Bobby M. Says:

    Everyone acts shocked our QB doesn’t function well with pressure yet we rely on pressure for our defense to be effective. That’s the name of the game, everyone is trying to get after the QB with the intent of being disruptive. Last year those efforts produced 6 or 7 INT for TDs….and whopping 30 total INTs for a record of 7-9. This year we sit 7-4 with a fraction of those turnovers and still have a chance to win those games…..that’s a huge improvement. Brady’s job was never to be Lamar Jackson, his job was to be an effective pocket passer which requires good protection. Donovan Smith was a “no call no show” for both the Saints games. We’ve been missing our best veteran linemen for two games. Throw in the fact that Leftwich abandons the run routinely. Teams are teeing off.

  5. pewterpirate99 Says:

    I also agree that the long ball will come around, Tom just needs better protection from the o-line which right now unfortunately he’s not getting. A lot of it has to do with Marpet still being out and that they have a subpar left tackle. And now Shipley is also hurt, which puts them more behind the 8-ball when it comes to protection.

    The one thing I can’t understand for the life of me is why in the blue hell does Santa Ariens and his tall elf Bryron Leftwich not run the ball more. How do they go from running the ball for 31 carries for over 200 yards against the Panthers, and the next week they only run for 17 carries for 41 yards??? And I know the Rams have Aaron Donald and a good defense, blah, blah ,blah. But there was still no reason not to run the ball more. They love using the play action but the play action is predicated on RUNNING THE BALL!!!

    Part of the reasons why they’ve lost the games that they’ve lost is because they’re not running the ball enough. They MUST run the ball more! We have two good running backs in Rojo and Fournette and a rookie back in Vaughn ( who for whatever reason has disappeared ) who are not getting enough touches on the ground. Nobody said it better than Coach Gruden when he was here, “pound that rock!”

    It just seems to me that these two coaches are hell bent on calling these pass plays no matter what because that’s the type of offense Santa Ariens likes to run. They need to stop being stubborn asses and conform to what best fits/works for the players we have.

    And here’s a little nugget of info I found interesting. When Ariens was coaching Rothlisberger he had a career high interceptions. When he was coaching Luck he had career high interceptions. When he was coaching Palmer he too had career high interceptions. And I’m not a Jameis fan at all, but when he was coaching Winston, he had career high interceptions.
    The common denominator here is Ariens. Check your ego, conform to the players you have and call plays that will help them be more successful, i.e. ………..RUN THE F*$KING BALL MORE!!!!!!!

  6. JayWill Says:

    Winston did not throw interceptions on long balls last year. Most of the picks that were his fought were on speed outs and not seeing underneath coverages on dig routes.

  7. Ed Says:

    Time for our 3rd round pass catching running back to get on the field. Seen enough of the drops from Fornette and Jones. They drafted him because he could catch. Tired of Arians not using the best personel for the down and distance.

    The one throw that Brady barely missed was off Antonio Brown’s fingertips. That was very close to being a game changing throw, he missed it by about one foot.

    Brown has been consistantly beating his defenders on every deep ball he’s been targets. Unfortunately the balls have been uncatchable.

    Didn’t like the the play call to Brate deep with 2 minutes left. Its 4 down territory, why not run shorter stuff and go for the kill when you get it inside the 20? There was plenty of time. Thats a poor decision by either Brady or Leftwich on the play call. Really stupid. The Rams couldn’t put the Bucs away and handed them an opportunity to drive and win or tie and the Bucs called that deep ball to Brate, not smart at all.

  8. El Buco Realisto Says:

    Ole stale biscuit whole career has been one big “excuse” and “lie”!!!!!!!!!!!

    Guess the sheep love hype over production!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. BucEmUp Says:

    Defenses are always expecting a deep ball now….if they just let Brady bring his plays from New England over here, send miller on slants and crosses like Edelman, hit screens more to Brate and Rojo, then take your deep shots once or twice a game it would be thing of Beauty. Instead they are taking deep shots once on every possession and sprinkling in 2 or 3 slants and screens.

    The offense is ass backward. When Arians was in Arizona and Pittsburgh they had their fair share of screens and dump offs. I don’t know why he is forcing this.

  10. Will Says:

    I’m tired of the excuse we got away from the run and we shouldn’t have. Damn all us arm chair coaches and GMs can see it during the game. You’re getting paid for it and can’t see it or even worse you refuse to keep pounding the rock. This offensive scheme is ridiculously vanilla there’s no movement no spreading the defense out and running the ball, no draws, quick slants, crossing routes heck the list goes on. A creative mind with this talent would be deadly to bad we don’t have that. I was excited about getting Brady and the weapons we had because I thought we weren’t creative because they didn’t trust Winston NOW I know they JUST AREN’T CREATIVE.

  11. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Every play is practice for the next play. Perhaps we are going deep too often, but we do need to go deep.

  12. Sesteprenelicus Says:

    Maybe they should risk some of those practice squad guys to play receiver and DB just to give Brady the practice.