By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Bruce Arians is known for his vertical passing offense, frequently calling for his receivers to “go long”. Tom Brady is better known for slicing & dicing opposing defenses in the short-to-intermediate areas of the field. How are the two planning to collaborate in Tampa Bay?
Apparently, the Bucs head coach sounds confident that he will still be able to incorporate plenty of deep passing with Brady throwing the ball for him. Via ESPN’s Jenna Laine, Arians showed that he’s actually been paying attention to Brady and doesn’t agree with the (incorrect) idea that the now-former Patriots QB cAn’T tHrOw tHe dEeP bAll.
“I think the perception is just wrong,” Arians said. “I thought [Brady’s] deep ball was outstanding last year. Through their play-action game, they hit a lot of deep balls. And our quarterback – I thought he put it as good as anybody – throw it to the guy who’s open.”
Arians also believes there’s a misconception about his own offense. Shorter, higher-percentage passes will be available to Brady. Difference is Brady will be more willing to take the easy money and feed the open guys. The kind of plays that have won him hundreds of games in his career, and sent Brady truthers into endless spirals of scream-s****ing as they wonder how the hell he did it to their team yet again.
“We do have reads that start deep and come in short, but I’ve had a couple quarterbacks that just keep looking deep – they won’t throw the checkdown,” Arians continued. “[Bucs offensive consultant] Tom Moore has the best saying in the world: ‘You don’t go broke putting money in the bank. Take the damn checkdown.'”
So clearly, Bucs fans won’t have to deal with as many ill-advised deep shots and bad turnovers with Brady. There will not be a repeat of Jameis Winston’s 30 interceptions in 2019. Brady will string drives together with simpler plays when they are there for the taking.
But that’s not to say that Brady won’t take shots. He did them throughout his time working with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. He just didn’t always have the right weapons for it. He excelled with Randy Moss and occasionally had success with one-year wonders like Brandon Lloyd and Brandin Cooks. He even dropped a few beauties in to Phillip Dorsett just last season.
According to Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo, from 2016-18, Brady had the best grade in the league on passes of 10-plus yards. So, yeah, if you think Brady just sucks at the deep ball you’re wrong. He definitely doesn’t suck. It’s just never been his strength.
Mike Evans is perhaps the second-best deep threat wide receiver Brady has ever had. Evans has averaged 82 catches, 1,291 yards, and nine touchdowns per 16 games over the first six years of his career. That figures to continue and perhaps even improve with Brady throwing him the ball. You know Arians is going to take some shots.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.