Tom Brady, Bucs Receivers And Trust

November 16th, 2021

Ex-NFL suit weighs in.

It is still baffling how Bucs quarterback Tom Brady turned into Captain Checkdown on Sunday, almost scared to test the worst secondary in all of football. And a man who comes across as sort of an intimate of Brady’s seems to have the answer.

The intel from former NFL suit and coffee-fetcher for Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belicheat, Michael Lombardi, seems logical on face value, but it doesn’t fully pass Joe’s smell test.

Monday on Lombardi’s podcast “GM Shuffle,” he explained that if Brady’s security blankets are removed, he has little trust in the others to fill the void. Lombardi, who worked with Brady in New England for two seasons, suggested Brady is discombobulated without his favorite targets.

“Brady loves Gronk. He loves Antonio Brown,” Lombardi said. “When you start to take away his security blanket[s], he doesn’t trust very many people. He just doesn’t trust very many people. … He trusts very few. And I think this game was symbolic of that.”

Well, that is as logical as anything Joe can think of for Brady all but abandoning deep passes and constantly checking down to Playoff Lenny. Then, Joe remembered recent history.

Are we really to believe that Brady all of a sudden doesn’t trust Mike Evans? Doesn’t trust Cam Brate? Doesn’t trust Chris Godwin?

Joe can understand Brady being hesitant with Jaelon Darden. The rookie was only targeted twice Sunday and his catch-and-fumble was ruled an interception.

(Remember how, after throwing his second pick-six last year targeting Justin Watson, that Brady pretty much iced Watson out of the offense the rest of the season? Before you ask, Watson is on injured reserve and last Joe heard he isn’t expected back until after Thanksgiving. Joe honestly thinks we have seen the last of Watson in a Bucs uniform barring a bunch of injuries to receivers.)

So while Lombardi’s conclusion makes sense in a vacuum, it doesn’t fully add up.

And just like Dave Moore on the Buccaneers Radio Network, who thought judging by body language the Bucs appeared almost disinterested in the game, Lombardi got the same sense watching tape of the game.

“They looked like, to me, a team that was still on the bye week,” Lombardi said. “They didn’t execute well. They weren’t precise in what they were doing.”

It wasn’t all doom and gloom from Lombardi. He raved about inside linebacker Devin White and while Lombardi didn’t know the extent of Vita Vea’s injury at the time he recorded his pod, he made it clear losing Vea for the season would have been a massive blow.

“Devin White was sensational in the game,” Lombardi said. “But the lack of secondary help, it really showed up in this game. It caused them to lose.

“Vita Vea is a blue chip player. He’s one of the top-five defensive tackles in all of football. It will be hard to overcome [his injury]. He is great.”

Yeah, Joe is breathing a major sigh of relief to learn Vea’s injury isn’t severe. Losing Vea for the season may have been a death blow to the Bucs defense, reeling from injuries to Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting.

35 Responses to “Tom Brady, Bucs Receivers And Trust”

  1. Medicated Pete Says:

    Yeah, Brady doesn’t trust Mike Evans low football IQ & giving up on routes & inability to track the ball.

  2. Zwak Says:

    Agreed Pete, giving up on routes and not running them aggressively is Evans biggest issue.

  3. Conte Piscateli Says:

    On the second pick Evans as mentioned quit on the route, never looked for the ball and this isn’t the first time that has resulted in a pick. I haven’t researched the game but I’m betting Washington doubled Evans and or Godwin on most plays basically saying beat us with Darden and Johnson.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Medicated & Zwak … Don’t know what y’all are smokin but Mike Evans arguably had the best season of his career with Brady last year in several key categories: most TDs (13), highest catch percentage (64.2%). And that even though he had the least number of targets (107) in his 7-year career with us, largely because (1) he was injured some; and (2) Brady had a plethora of receivers to throw to & there’s only 1 football.

    And so far this year ME13 has 9 TDs, more than any other Buc, even Gronk & AB. So it appears that TB12 must at least trust him a little bit to toss him the rock down near the end zone. Reality is that Mike draws the best cover corners in the NFL & Tom Brady is a bit more ‘selective’ than Jameis was when it comes to throwing to covered receivers.

  5. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Gronk and AB are his rhythm guys. He hasn’t gotten into a good rhythm since they’ve been out.

  6. mg Says:

    Evans needs to finish, he seems weak in the knees. Go get Julian Edelman.

  7. Youngbucs Says:

    Defense Rules I agree with the beginning of your post. But disagree about throwing to covered receivers Brady is in the top of tight window throws. He tosses bullets with accuracy also also arch with touch into tight windows.

  8. rrsrq Says:

    Truth is ME was open for more TDs, Brady checking down and dropping off short so ME could get the Bucs record at home. Unfortunately, the play calling stunk, didn’t get the ball in the playmakers hands, i.e., Godwin, Johnson, Gio or ROjO, even OJ can make plays. But when all you do is throw the behind the los screen to CG all the time and everybody knows it, it gets old.

  9. Bucsfanman Says:

    I must’ve seen a different play because it looked like Brady waaaay overthrew the route to Evans. So much so that he had no play on the ball whatsoever.

    There’s something to having “your” guys and being in rhythm, sure. It’s still a little odd when it’s the best to play the position and had far less talent on other teams

  10. carzyBucs_CL Says:

    @”…“Brady loves Gronk. He loves Antonio Brown,”..”
    Bingo! Absolutely true. CG is the third on the list, and thats it.
    ME13 and his angry management problem lost TB12 for good on game with Rams.
    On national TV ME13 expressed anger, disgust, and frustration with Tom decisions to continue thronging the ball to Gronk.
    TB12 is the goat, and at 44 he has no tolerance for classless ME13.
    IMO that was it, after that the silence “divorce” took place between them.

  11. Tackleblockwin Says:

    WFT QB made some excellent passes too in the game. Some of them were nearly impossible to defend. His accuracy was on point for some key downs. Sometimes you gotta just tip your cap. The way I see this team is that if we score 28+ on offense and lose it is probably the Defense that let us down. But that was not the case this last week. Our offense lost this game. There is no reason our offense should not be able to keep pace with WFT offense. Don’t care that AB and Gronk were out. We still had better weapons and better QB on the field.

  12. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Bucs D was on the field for 39 minutes yesterday and our offense gave the WFT good field position numerous times. That is a receipt for disaster against any opponent.

  13. Tackleblockwin Says:

    BTW Joe. Lombardi has never once said anything that we don’t already see with our own eyes. His analysis ever week is like saying the sky is blue.

  14. Bobby M. Says:

    Losing Vea is another blow to a sub par defense. Now teams don’t have to worry with JPP or Vea, if you thought our pass rush was “meh” before, it just got even more avg. This team is built to ride the offense, particularly the defense. Without a two score lead we simply can’t be aggressive. The offense must stop giving the opponent the ball and stalling in the red zone. We do those things, we’ll win more then we lose.

  15. Listnfrmafar Says:

    I doubt TB12 trusts Lenny more than Evan’s. Bad game for all but the good thing is Rams lost big. This season is crazy. I will say one thing not the biggest fan of Shanahan but he runs a very creative offense. Counters, motion, play action a lot like Pat’s used and currently do.

  16. Robert Says:

    Would love to see that video Carzy

    TB seems to throw to ME on two occasions. When it is over the top and TB has time for lunch in the pocket (ME to get open), and short red zone targets when ME can push off.

  17. carzyBucs_CL Says:

    @”..I doubt TB12 trusts Lenny more than Evan’s…”
    He does, remember he brought him here, Lenny is his “draft”.

  18. lambeau Says:

    Drops just in first half: Fournette, Darden, Godwin, Johnson, Bernard. C’mon.

  19. Evolvingbucsfan Says:

    Evans just tied Alstott with the most TD’s in Bucs history with that last game funny how that isn’t even being mentioned.

  20. carzyBucs_CL Says:

    @Robert “…Would love to see that video Carzy…”
    LA Rams vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Full Game @YT. Go to 1:38:50 frame, and watch and listen

  21. Cchead Says:

    Go back and watch Brady’s 1st pass .He gets blasted and his body folds in half. That hurt him and after that, he just checked down. At 44, he was in self protection mode.

  22. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Many times the tape lies. I haven’t rewatched the game but often a guy is open but after the ball is released or throwing to that particular area is blocked vision wise or pressure wise. I’m sure he missed some open guys but I noticed BA backed way off on that particular aspect in his news conference. Said Brady missed 2 or 3 apparently after watching film. A lot of drops this season. Doesn’t instill confidence when your dropping 4/5 a game.

  23. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Brady also loves to go back shoulder a lot to protect the ball, not Evan’s game, he is a fight for position guy which takes time. Maybe he did get popped early and had to really protect himself. The lack of creativity on offense and defense is huge. Maybe the team premadonas are pissed they didn’t get on Hard Knocks this season.

  24. 2021 Year of the GOAT Says:

    They better figure this Shi*@ittt out and they all need to get on the same page….

  25. Listnfrmafar Says:

    carzybuc, Brady has never played with Lenny until last year. His request was simply to get a veteran RB on the team and no one was more hungry closing out last season than him. I don’t think Brady knew he had 2 stone fingers.

  26. #8 Says:

    @CChead 100%-
    occam’s razor.
    Its simple. Brady got killed & was semi feeling ghosts. Even BA said it. When you get killed, you get the ball out quickly.
    So really we shouldve started to run more to calm TB12 down…but we didn’t.
    And the D…well…D still not yet good.

  27. Aaron Says:

    Agree 100% with Listnfrmafar – Brady doesn’t trust that Evans will get open quick enough. Combined that with him getting blasted early…? We never seem to scheme anything – its just line up and let Brady sling it.

    We did this same thing last year…then after the bye-week we started to run the ball, shorten routes, and take shots off of play-action – that’s when we went on our SB run.

    Side note – does it feel like we have an $18m year DE?

  28. Jmarkbuc Says:


    Defense could have gotten itself off the field three more times if they could hold onto interceptions.

    I’m not saying the offense didn’t suck.. but damn.

  29. SB Says:

    Some of you guys are smoking crack!

    Crack is BAD!

  30. firethecannons Says:

    Joe are the Giants a good team for us to run against? We certainly need far far more play action pass up to this point and we need to chew up the clock and keep our defense off the field. Is Scotty Miller coming back this week?

  31. Joe Says:

    Is Scotty Miller coming back this week?

    We will learn more about Scotty Miller as the week progresses. Arians is next scheduled to speak tomorrow around noon after practice.

  32. Papabear2543 Says:

    Probably should think a bit about the plays Leftwich was calling and what the offensive guys in the booth above were seeing on WFT defense Can’t all be check downs on Brady’s part a lot of those were called passes to the backs.
    The deep routes take another half second and if the O line is lazy, guess what.
    Brady doesn’t have time to get to Evans or anyone else on a deep route. It would have been nice to see more 15-20 yard crossing routes in the middle of the field. That would have gotten the wide outs more involved.

  33. Eddie Marz Says:

    Medicated Pete your right. Brady doesn’t have the same chemistry with Evavns that he has with Brown or Gronk. GO BUCS!

  34. Eddie Marz Says:

    How can u blame Brady for not trusting his receivers? One guy he hits in the gut and then Evans runs pass a throw he should have caught, for two interceptions. Gotta get Brown and Gronk back soon. GO BUCS!

  35. TONE Says: