How Much Did Bruce Arians Help Tom Brady?

July 14th, 2021

Made for each other?

Now here is an angle Joe had never really thought much about. And it is an angle that Joe believes is way overlooked if not unappreciated.

Did Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians revive the career of park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking, tequila-shooting, smartphone-phobic, waffle-grilling, trophy-throwing, roller-coaster-scared, numbers-rules-peeved, Bucs-Super-Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady?

Remember how Brady ended his Belicheats days? A pick-six in playoff loss. Brady, despite a solid start to the 2019 season, looked every bit the washed, then-42-year old quarterback who had lost zip on his fastball and seemed running on fumes.

But by the time Brady hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the seventh time in his career in the warm, muggy Tampa February night sky, he seemed to have found the famous Florida fountain of youth.

Does Arians not get enough credit for that?

That seems to be the suggestion from Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports. He recently ranked Brady and Arians the No. 1 coach-quarterback duo. 

What Arians did for Brady’s career — at the age of 43 — may never be replicated. Brady set the NFL record for touchdown passes in his first season with a new team (43) and second-most passing yards in year one with a new team (4,633). Arians and Brady took the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl — while Brady became the oldest quarterback to start a Super Bowl and win it at 43 years, 188 days. Brady finished second in the NFL in completions (401), tied for second in passing touchdowns (40), and third in passing yards (4,633). He led the Buccaneers to the franchise’s second Super Bowl title, as Tampa Bay became the first franchise to win the Super Bowl in its own stadium — beating Mahomes, Reid and the Chiefs.

Arians became the oldest head coach to win a Super Bowl at 68 years and 127 days. He’s the second-oldest head coach to win a NFL championship; George Halas remains the oldest coach to win a title at 68 years and 331 days when the Chicago Bears won the NFL Championship in 1963. The Buccaneers became the first team in NFL history to score 30-plus points four times in a single postseason. They are the first team in NFL history to defeat three former Super Bowl MVPs (Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes) — and they did it in consecutive games.

Joe thinks this is a helluva point. Let’s face it, few NFL coaches still believe in the old school dropback quarterback. Virtually every other coach employs some sort of RPOs or spread-option, or something moving the quarterback out of the pocket.

Not Arians and not Brady. So was Arians the perfect fit for Brady? Would Brady have had the same success with Sean McVay, for example, or Brian Flores?

It is not like Arians has never resurrected a veteran quarterback’s career. Remember Carson Palmer?

Joe thinks Kerr is onto something here. Arians likely doesn’t get enough credit for Brady’s excellent numbers because, well, it’s Brady and people expect greatness.

Go ahead and see if you can find a previous case where a 43-year old quarterback was among the NFL leaders in passing stats. Actually, Joe will help you. The operative word is “never.”

19 Responses to “How Much Did Bruce Arians Help Tom Brady?”

  1. Alexander Nascimento Says:

    Isn’t it refreshing? To have a coach who coaches and adapt to get the best of his players.
    It’s been a while…
    Go Bucs

  2. Pepsi Says:

    Why don’t you watch the type of throws Brady was making in the last regular season game of 2019 against the bills. If Brady was weak or running on fumes in 2019 than surely he’d have looked gassed in the last game of that season. Spoiler alert – he wasn’t. 2019 Brady was just Brady with the worst supporting cast of his career. Arians didn’t revive anything about Brady

  3. PassingThru Says:

    Oh give me a break, I watched Brady extensively in 2019. He wasn’t washed.

  4. Crickett Baker Says:

    I think he did, Pepsi, now that Joe mentions it. Tom loves football, but he was finally getting frustrated with the way the team was operated (from all innuendos). Ariens seemed to bring out Tom’s reignited love of actually enjoying playing for a team. Tom seems wayy happier and still playing great. I think Arians is still helping Tom every week.

  5. Drunkinybor Says:

    I’m sorry but you said. It’s a angle you have never thought too much about but you believe it’s unappreciated and over looked? That’s a little confusing. I mean I sure as hell ain’t no better then a 8th grade intellect. I just found that a odd statement.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Interesting perspective Joe. I agree with you in that Tom Brady did look ‘rejuvenated’ this past year. It looked like he got to use the full spectrum of his talents in BA’s no-risk-it, no-biscuit attack philosophy … and obviously really enjoyed it.

    But at the same time, Brady seems to have ‘rejuvenated’ Bruce Arians also. At there end of 2019, after going 7-9 with Jameis & looking VERY frustrated, BA seemed to come alive with the signing of Tom Brady to be his field general. I wouldn’t say that he totally changed his attack philosophy, but he sure did seem to ‘modify it significantly’ as the season rolled on. And everyone benefitted … BA, Brady, and the team obviously.

  7. Bucsfanman Says:

    The culture in Tampa Bay began to change with BA’s arrival in 2019. I don’t believe that Brady was “washed up” by any means, but, the change of scenery and scheme were invigorating influences, IMO.
    You simply cannot have one without the other.

  8. Bird Says:

    Defense rules in for the finishing move kill

    And dont forget licht being rejuvenated as well. The smiles in the bucs organization after they signed brady …after years of frustration And heartache …turnovers and games where the bucs beat themselves

    They knew what brady would do for this team. Heck everyone knew the bucs would be better. Maybe not super bowl but playoffs seemed like it was going to happen.

    Well. I take that back ..not the messiah cult who said terrible move , bust and noodle arm cause they did not have a manlust on the goat like the former qb

    For example , ndog would have done anything to see jameis ‘s genatalia succeed

  9. Blackshoes56 Says:

    @PassingThru is exactly right. Brady wasn’t washed. He had literally no receiver who could get separation in 2019. Arians is a good coach but the Bucs players had as much to do with Brady’s resurgence as any coach. Anyone paying attention knows Brady would have been just as good in 2019 if he’d had that supporting cast. The notion that Arians revived Brady’s career is nonsense.

  10. bucfanforever Says:

    I hear that in Arian’s system, QBs are way better in year 2.

  11. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    I think only fools would think Brady was washed up in ’19. It was clearly lack of talent on that Patriots team. I always had this opinion. A “washed up” QB is not getting to the playoffs, except if you are named Manning on a super talented team.

    “…So was Arians the perfect fit for Brady?”

    Yes; hard to picture TB with a McVay or anyone else. Arians adjusted to Brady. As an example, I think Rogers wins that NFC Championship game with another, better coach.

    But its NOT just that Arians was perfect for Brady, its that Brady was perfect for Arians; TB also adjusted. And the Bucs were perfect for Brady. Its a team game – we won the SB – Talent + Brady + Coaching = SB champs & perfect fit for ALL

  12. Youngbucs Says:

    Those some nice stats you got there I gotta check my sheets. The🤡 said Brady was washed and BA was running this team into the ground for signing him.

  13. Pine Hills Says:

    Actually, in that last year with belicheat, the Pats were doing well for the first half season.
    Then, for some reason, they suffered a monumental collapse, Ala Raheem Morris et al.
    It seems the Pats lost faith in the Patriot way.
    It ain’t coming back.

  14. Infomeplease Says:

    I imagine they both learned something from each other. I’m looking forward to seeing this team SHINE a bit BRIGHTER this season! Go Bucs!!!

  15. PassingThru Says:

    @Pine Hills

    New England had a very easy schedule at the beginning of the 2019 season, and the defense carried that team. At that early juncture, they were also the league’s leading scoring defense. The offense however looked unremarkable at best, at that’s being charitable.

    The first real test of the 2019 was the Baltimore game. The Pats were undefeated, but then they feasted on lousy teams. Baltimore absolutely exposed them on both sides of the ball. The defense couldn’t stop the run, the TEs in particular were mauling the EDGE defenders and the team looked slow and confused against a high-functioning, play-action oriented, running QB. The offense was awful as well, as the New England receivers (both WRs and TEs) couldn’t get open. The Patriots season went downhill from there, they were exposed as frauds. They never recovered.

    If you were a New England fan with any brains, you saw disaster coming months earlier. That preseason was torture. Belichick stonewalled Brady on a contract extension, refusing to budge from a one year deal. The most rational reason was that he feared Brady’s age, and his plan was to emphasize a running attack and keep Brady on year-to-year deals so that the franchise could have an orderly transition from Brady. That’s why he allowed the receiving units on the roster rot; no replacement for the retired Gronk, no replacement for the aging/banged-up Edelman, and the WR2s, WR3s, the entire TEs play group were allowed to rot without replacement. The only WR they drafted was N’Keal Harry, who was a big-bodied receiver who they thought could block. And in true Belichick-the-GM style, Harry is a total bust who shouldn’t have been drafted any sooner than Day 3.

    Bad WRs, bad TEs, and a “My way or the highway” contract negotiation is what forced Brady out of New England. Brady agreed to the one year deal on the grounds that the team couldn’t force a franchise tag on him. He wasn’t going to bail-out Belichick from the looming disaster. After 20 years of loyalty and repeated re-signings at remarkably team-friendly rates, he concluded that it was his last season in New England. Brady was very unBrady-like following that one year extension. He finally showed frustration at the WRs that couldn’t run routes, and get separation from DBs, and a bunch of TEs who were pretty much worthless at anything other than blocking.

    The Baltimore game was the turning point, but only if you confine yourself to looking at a 16 game schedule. I think the more rational fans either feared or sensed it was coming from the preseason or even earlier as they were plenty of cracks on the walls.

  16. 6throundpick Says:

    Belichick’s system and fantasy of winning with just special teams and defense would crush any quarterback. Just look at what the rots had to overspend to keep Newton and Jones on the field…how long, we’ll see.

    TB12 saved Kraft more than $200M, according to one Boston Globe article I read, some years back. Where did the money go? Offense? Besides Gronk and a year of Randy Moss, where did it go?

    My football fantasy was to see TB12 on a loaded team. You are here…now. Cheers!

  17. TomBrady_converted bucs fan Says:


    Totally agree with everything you said with one exception. I think Belichicks recognized the complete lack of WR talent. Belichicks the coach was never the problem it was Belichicks the gm..

    he tried to fill the gap but made horrible decision to trade the 2019 2nd round pick for Sanu who never even had a 1000 yard season in his career and was old + immediately got injured after a decent first game. than picked Harry with the 1st round 2019 pick instead of AJ brown, DK Metcalf or deebo Samuel which was completely confounding at the time per usual. It wasn’t a hind sight 20/20 thing.. it was just terrible player evaluation.

    Belichicks best attribute is his ability to evaluate and groom talent once on the team.. and continue to add more draft capital overall by taking advantage of coached and gms willing to trade their future for now because they are about to get fired (.e.g the classic trade 2nd rounder this year for first rounder next year type thing) and not overpaying players and instead letting them walk in FA and pick up the compensatory draft picks. But his actual draft picks themselves have been terrible since 2012 for the most part. But his mid season trades each year and development of undrafted FA’s offset that until the wheels finally came of in 2019

  18. Tom Romeo Jr Says:

    Brady saved B.A.

  19. Cliff Massie Says:

    They saved each other.