Tom Brady’s Former QB/Coach Coordinator Talks Chiefs-Bucs, Brady Deep Balls

November 28th, 2020

Joe was eager and intrigued to hear ousted Texans coach/GM Bill O’Brien weigh in on Tom Brady and the Bucs this week for two major reasons: he coached Brady in New England, and he coached against the Chiefs before getting fired in October.

Also, O’Brien was tasked by SiriusXM NFL Radio to do a deep dive for a Bucs-Rams preview, so Joe knew O’Brien was extremely familiar with all things Tampa Bay.

First, Joe will get the hot-topic out of the way. O’Brien does not think Tom Brady has any issues with his arm and throwing deep. He believes it’s all about timing nuances that haven’t been honed, and O’Brien says those are on both receivers and Brady.

Does O’Brien think the Bucs will make changes to get away from the deep ball? He’s confident Bucco Bruce Arians will be patient but realistic.

“I don’t think he’s going to continue to try and force it if it’s not working,” O’Brien said.

Interestingly, O’Brien noted how poor Brady’s timing has been with receivers out of the backfield, and their questionable hands. That could be a factor the playcalling and on-field decisions.

As for the Bucs’ top key on Sunday, O’Brien kept that simple: run the football.

He noted the Bucs’ inconsistent blocking, especially on “duo” runs that find double teams for the offensive line to exploit. O’Brien likes the diversity in the Bucs’ run game but said they must be more consistent and dial in on a couple of run plays that will be effective against Kansas City. (Ira Kaufman calls them “bread and butter” runs.)

Expect the Bucs to be ready Sunday to go for it on fourth down often in an effort to keep Patrick Mahomes off the field, O’Brien said.

On defense, O’Brien believes Todd Bowles must make hard decisions — and that might meant not going all-in to stop the run like the Bucs often do. For O’Brien, defensive keys are limiting tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

“Those are the guys that initially you gotta figure out, ‘Can you bang Kelce at the line of scrimmage? Can you double Hill and then hold up in the run game?'” O’Brien said. “You have to pick your poison.”

Kelce has to be hit at the line of scrimmage to cover him effectively, O’Brien believes, especially in the red zone. And he said the Bucs’ other keys will be to stay disciplined and simplistic with multiple blitz and zone coverage looks.

Host Pat Kirwan and O’Brien also ranted about the Bucs edge rushers needing to stay on the edge and do everything to keep Mahomes in the pocket.

29 Responses to “Tom Brady’s Former QB/Coach Coordinator Talks Chiefs-Bucs, Brady Deep Balls”

  1. Hodad Says:

    There’s a reason O’Brain got fired, and his team is doing better without him. He sucks as a coach. Not much better as a G.M., trading one of the best receivers in the game for a broke down running back.

  2. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    BOB knows more than any commenter on here for sure. Yes, as a GM, he was Omg bad. But BOB knows these two teams pretty darn good. All the above sounds strong to me.

    Again, establish the run, play action, then take some shots downfield.

    Unfortunately, I think our D will have to play a lot of zone – KC just has so many weapons that I do not think we can match up in man.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    @O’Brien … “O’Brien noted how poor Brady’s timing has been with receivers out of the backfield, and their questionable hands.”

    Lots of folks keep bad-mouthing our RBs pass-catching skills, but I get the feeling there’s much more to it than that. Fournette had a 77.0% catch percentage in 3 years with the Jaguars … with Blake Bortles & Minshew throwing to him. RoJo had a 77.6% catch percentage in his his 2 prior years here … with Winston throwing to him.

    This year BOTH appear to be off a little for some reason. Fournette is 25-for 34 thus far (73.5%) with a yds/target of 4.7 yds (his yds/target was 5.2 yds in 2019). RoJo is 26-for-38 thus far (68.4%) with a yds/target of only 3.3 yds (his yds/target last year was 7.7 yds).

    It seems that the yds/target are significantly lower for both of them this year than last year (especially for RoJo). No question that many of them should’ve been caught, but a number of them weren’t good passes IMO, and some were downright lasers at close range. So IMO part of it falls on Tom Brady, although most both backs need to step up their game.

  4. Brandon Jeff Says:

    I think a lot of the problem is that Tom is a timing QB.
    This should improve as Tom and the receivers learn each other.

  5. Roy T. Buford Says:

    ‘Twould be nice for Brady to have time to throw tomorrow. That is a big factor for deep balls of course, as is play calling and QBing. I am confident Brady as the GOAT will not turn two steamers in a row IF he has some time to throw; we know he can read defenses like no one, except maybe Rodgers and Brees.

    I was thrilled to see that Marpet was FP at practice yesterday, and his status is “questionable” for the first time since his concussion. Man, I hope he’s ready to go and if D. Smith (who was DNP yesterday) who is also questionable can go, with Jensen back at Center, this could be good game for redemption on many woes.

  6. Ryan Jensen’s Hair Says:

    Motion…. where is the motion?

    Run the Rock

    Stop running on first down so much

    There are other run plays besides dives

    Do we not know what a draw play is or tunnel screen?

  7. Old Sombrero Says:

    How is it when we were kids playing sandlot football we could throw and catch a deep ball immediately and yet we hear about professionals unable to get the timing in synch after several months? C’mon. We’re not stupid. Stop throwing deep and stick with what works based on who you have instead of forcing what you don’t have.

  8. adam from ny Says:

    the scotty miller brady long ball has worked all year…

    why stop what you’re doing when it’s working…

    mix it in here and there…

    brady has always been known to go balls deep 🙂

  9. Etzel Says:

    Stop throwing the deep ball??? But then how will Tom “prove all da haterzz wrong???”

  10. Mike Johnson Says:

    We all know..Our offensive line Must play well for Brady to be successful. Our line plys fair to bad and Brady is Lunch meat. If our O line does not perform well Sunday, we are in for an A** Whippin of mega proportions.

  11. Etzel Says:

    Yes, the OL must play perfect, the RB’s must play perfect, the receivers must play perfect and the defense has to be lights-out… for Brady to have any success..

    “But he’s da GOAT 6 ringzzzz”

  12. Joe in Michigan Says:

    If the Bucs can run the ball effectively, throw short to intermediate, 3rd down back can catch the ball (please put Ke’Shawn Vaughn in this role), the Bucs have a shot at winning. In other words, keep Mahomes off the field with time consuming TD drives.

  13. tmaxcon Says:

    not even the GOAT can not make the minor league bucs franchise a contender. Gave him everything….. Season is a failure not a single sane person believes this team can endure a playoff run with gramps calling the shots, noodle trying to stay relevant and that mentally weak overrated defense…

    glazers never disappoint draft talk and nut punches for xmas every year……

  14. BucEmUp Says:

    I would like to see them play two safties but jam at the line. Let lavante and white control the run and press at the line. So tired of seeing the corners playing ten yards ( minumum) deep which makes the safties play deep and then they opposing offense just dropping the ball right in between them.every single time.Jam them at the line, throw off the timing give the dline an extra second to get home and blitz like hell on obvious 3rd and longs.

  15. Joe in Michigan Says:

    tmaxcon: Where were you for the 7 wins so far this year? You can’t take the Bucs winning games?

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Um, the Bucs are playoff contenders. I’m sorry if this makes you sad.

  17. tmaxcon Says:

    Joe in Michigan

    I’ll fix the spelling error for you pal….. Bucs are playoff Pretenders..

  18. Kobe Faker Says:

    “The Great Golf Cart Heist

    The Gullible Bucsfan fanbase has been fooled again

    Remember BA the Kangoo clown said he would have Freddie Kitchens as coach if he was available

    The mind boggling weekly challenges. 75% of them are challenges you cant even reverse

    Going on 4th down at your own 25 yard line vs Chicago went you are ahead in the game!!

    Kobe Faker wants his money back from the Arizona Cardinals!”

    Kobe Faker

  19. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Some of you would rather go 4-12 with Mike Glennon. Those were the glory years!

  20. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Kobe Faker: The 4th Down they went for and got against the Bears? You need some better material.

  21. tmaxcon Says:

    Joe in Michigan Says:
    November 28th, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    tmaxcon: Where were you for the 7 wins so far this year? You can’t take the Bucs winning games?

    I was in the mountains gargling gasoline to get the bad taste out of my mouth from all the horrendous and laughable moves BA has talked the glazers into this year. Bucs franchise is more laughable than a Jerry Springer greatest hits video. You keep drinking the cool aid pal the world needs gullible folks too.

  22. Rod Munch Says:

    The same fake narrative over and over again…

    Does somebody have the deep ball stats with pass interference calls mixed it? It dramatically changes things – but also takes like extra work, and we know how lazy ‘journalists’ are, if something requires extra effort, they’re not going to do it.

  23. Joe in Michigan Says:

    tmax: So if the Bucs make the playoffs this year, are you going on another sabbatical to the mountains?

  24. tmaxcon Says:

    Rod Munch Says:
    November 28th, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    The same fake narrative over and over again…

    Does somebody have the deep ball stats with pass interference calls mixed it? It dramatically changes things – but also takes like extra work, and we know how lazy ‘journalists’ are, if something requires extra effort, they’re not going to do it.

    only bucfans want penalties included in stats to help justify failure. classic. i missed this place. the logic and blind loyalty is hilarious yet so very sad.

  25. Negative nate Says:

    Unpopular opinion.. take devin of the the field on 3rd an 6 or longer put Winfield in box and Edward’s at saftey

  26. GMoney Says:

    Negative Nate….I like your thinking

  27. Valentine Says:

    Those running back catch percentage is out of how many attempts? You can’t use a 77% catch rate if they were only targeted 5 times a season, with Brady you will be looked at 5 per game. Brady is not blameless but we have pro ball players dropping wide open passes, the offensive coordinator is hell bent on long passes, rather than winning drives that use up the clock , specifically against high powered teams. The ego culture must first be addressed in Tampa, only then will they begin to accept that winning a game strategically by two points is the same as trying to pile on points and winning by twenty’. A win is a win. Utilize the strength of your experienced QB

  28. tmaxcon Says:


    Egos in Tampa that is hilarious…. How can you have an when you are apart of the most embarrassing sports franchise the earth has ever known.

  29. Joe in Michigan Says:

    tmaxcon: I missed you, too! Hahaha

    What are you gonna do with yourself once the Bucs make the playoffs? I know, I know, you’re gonna root for a first round loss.