Phil Simms: Tom Brady Has Dragged Bruce Arians Into The 21st Century

January 30th, 2021

Super Bowl-winning QB Phil Simms.

Former Giants quarterback and current CBS Sports talking head Phil Simms doesn’t believe in holding back his thoughts on football.

And in his weekly Friday spot on SiriusXM NFL Radio,, this week with popular sports television and radio personality Adam Schein, Simms was talking Bucs football.

Specifically, the two-time Super Bowl winner was talking Bucco Bruce Arians, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking Bucs quarterback Tom Brady.

Simms calls it like he sees it with seemingly no concern for ruffling feathers. And Simms said Brady forced Arians to start running an offense close to what other teams run in 2020 and 2021. He claimed Arians’ offenses previously were just about the same as Simms ran with the Giants and Tuna Parcells not quite 40 years ago.

Tampa Bay’s offense this season, Simms said, has slowly morphed into something resembling a modern offense. And Simms claims Leftwich, acting as a conduit between Brady and Arians is the reason.

“Tom Brady, really even now, in this [NFC Championship] game, is still running what I would call a traditional offense from the 80s,” Simms began. “The kind that I ran. ‘Oh, we are going to get in an I-formation and we are going do this, and we’re going to throw it deep.’

“That’s Bruce Arians. He hasn’t really — well, I’m not going to say it. He has changed this year with Tom Brady some which has been great.”

Now Joe doesn’t recall too many plays where the Bucs used an I-formation. But Joe gets what Simms is saying: Run up the middle and then chuck it deep.

“You see, I give Byron Leftwich a lot of credit,” Simms said. “I don’t know but I will know before the Super Bowl — I think his influence is becoming more and more [prevelent] down in Tampa Bay. And I think [Leftwich] is so close to Tom Brady that he listens [to Brady].

“So they are designing plays, I think I counted six this past week where I just go, ‘Uh, oh. Gotcha plays.’ Kansas City runs them, about 15 a game. The Buccaneers early in the season were running none.

“Now they are throwing different types of screens. They are throwing to the tight end where everyone is [in] blocking and then they release him and they drop [the ball] over. You saw that in the championship game to Cameron Brate.

“Plays like that, in today’s game, all quarterbacks need it. And they need 6-10 of them every single week. We see it mostly from Kansas City.”

Now is this the reason the offense hummed so well after the bye week? Joe would have to re-watch the games. But it is interesting to Joe that Simms said the offense has grown throughout the year.

That’s one reason why the Bucs often said prior to the slimy Saints playoff game that they were a different team.

“But to see Bruce Arians — ‘Stand in there and throw that ball downfield!’ — I left out all the other words that go with it” begin to run screens and other different types of passes surprised Simms. That’s normally not what Arians does, Simms said.

“I’ve heard quarterbacks who have scrambled and gained 10 yards and they came to the sidelines and Arians said, ‘What, are you afraid? What are you running for? Stand in there and throw the dang ball,'” Simms said.

The combination of Arians’ no-risk-it; no-biscuit offense with modern wrinkles thrown in, “it has been a great blend for Tom Brady,” Simms said.

Funny to Joe is that a guy who allegedly has a pipeline to Brady, former NFL suit Michael Lombardi, swears on a stack of Bibles on his podcast that Leftwich is a figurehead and has zero input.

Simms, (among others), said the exact opposite, that Leftwich has major input. Enough for an old dog like Arians to change his ways.

A little bit.

23 Responses to “Phil Simms: Tom Brady Has Dragged Bruce Arians Into The 21st Century”

  1. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Phil Simms was the better QB, but his Son Chris is the better sports reporter/commenter by far.

  2. Buc1987 Says:

    “Oh, we are going to get in an I-formation”

    When did this happen?

  3. AMI_Chris Says:

    He’s right. There are probably 10-20 plays per week that you see from KC (and maybe 5-15 per game from NO) where you say, “Wow, that was creative!” Faking a screen one way and then running a shovel pass in the middle — stuff like that. Very few from the Bucs — the screen to Gronk and the end around to Godwin at the very end are two examples.

  4. mg Says:

    Bring back the single bar helmet…

  5. Beej Says:

    Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:
    January 30th, 2021 at 10:08 am
    Phil Simms was the better QB, but his Son Chris is the better sports reporter/commenter by far.

    I had great hopes for that kid, but he was never the same after nearly dying from ruptured spleen

  6. Jason Says:

    I formation with Vita Vea as the fullback on the goal line? Yes please.

  7. ClodHopper Says:

    Gotta admit I laughed at the headline because I thought it was ludicrous but he makes an interesting point.

  8. Bird Says:


    Hahaha. Yup. Or just have vea as single back. He doesnt need a blocker. He is the wall. He will get 1-2 yards every time.


    Or even better have vea as lead blocker and devin white as running back in short yardage. Devin whites speed and strength is hard to compare to any other player in nfl. Plus white loves putting his hand on defenders helmet And chucking them back to let them know “you are my Beeoch”

  9. bojim Says:

    I think Brady woke him up.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Being 7-5 at our Bye Week no doubt caused some re-evaluations inside One Buc Palace. It certainly helped that we closed out our season with games against the Falcons, Vikings & Lions because it gave us a chance to experiment with some different looks/plays & our coaching staff appeared to take full advantage of that opportunity.

    Phil Simms nailed it IMO; his analysis is spot on. The Bucs offense especially has matured beautifully as the season progressed, and that’s what championship TEAMs do. They grow better with each passing game. Now it’s time to put the cherry on the Super Bowl sundae (no pun intended). We got this.

  11. AJ Says:

    Definitely see the subtle differences as Simms states. The mixture of screens, off tackle runs. Hell even that power sweep that Godwin ran to seal the game last week. I have never seen the Bucs run that play before. Hell that ought to be ran a little more if we run to Wirfs side.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Just keep doing what we are doing…..I don’t care what century it comes from…

    As for just hang in there & throw the ball…..JW tried that, unfortunately.

  13. Casual Observer Says:

    Jason – Not a bad idea. VV was a running back in HS, I believe.

  14. Bird Says:

    Since Brady became a starter in 2001 he has:

    • 27% of Super Bowl pass attempts
    • 28% of Super Bowl completions
    • 26% of Super Bowl passing yards
    • 27% of Super Bowl TD passes

    Super Bowl starts:

    Tom Brady — 10
    Tom Brady since turning 37 — 5
    John Elway — 5
    Peyton Manning — 4
    Joe Montana — 4
    Terry Bradshaw — 4
    Jim Kelly — 4
    Roger Staubach — 4

  15. OBF Says:

    Encouraging to ponder!

  16. Architek Says:

    Too much to type – so many layers to this!

  17. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    I still think they run it up the middle and chuck it deep too frequently.

  18. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    I tend to believe Bruce Arians when he says he isn’t doing snot . Last year he admitted publicly that he was having a hard time containing himself during the games. This year he has been doing big picture game management. He has been letting his OC and DC craft the plans (with appropriate player input) and call the games under his watch, but he is not micromanaging apparently.

    Both are doing well in these playoffs and we have a realistic chance of winning it all!

  19. alton green Says:

    HOMER, you nailed it

  20. David Says:

    Saying BA or BL doesn’t have much input is ridiculous. Since day one all these talking heads have been trying to make it about Brady or BL or BA and they have constantly been trying to pit them against each other.
    It is ridiculous to me how they can’t seem to fathom that all 3 have input, all 3 bring ideas to the table, and all 3 compromise and work together.

    For some reason they can’t seem to comprehend that and it’s always got to be one against the other- all year long.

    It’s a ridiculous notion to me

  21. David Says:


    You are right. They don’t get enough credit for that play call. Godwin on the sweep was a great call and great execution. Wirfs pulling and plowing a few people out of the way at the end, was a thing of beauty

  22. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    I listen to Lombardi’s podcast, I’ve not head him say that about Leftwich (I do know Mike is hurting his credibility by seemingly being the last guy in the league other than Cal McNair still defending Easterby in Houston). But even last year we were hearing it was Arians’ offense, but Byron was doing all the gameplanning during the week.

  23. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    Brady is the reason they are involving the TEs more in the passing game. Arians is part of the reason the offense struggled because he was adamant in running it his way with no pre snap motions and predictable play calling. Things are better now but still like it was said he likes to go back to his old ways to much at times.