Tom Brady drama: Bruce Arians denies friction with QB had anything to do with coach’s decision to retire

Bruce Arians sent shockwaves through the NFL on Wednesday night when he surprisingly announced that he would be retiring as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Almost as soon as Arians made his announcement, speculation began that friction with Tom Brady may have played a role in Arians’ decision to step down. The two-time NFL Coach of the Year was asked about the possibility on Wednesday, but he dismissed it.

“Tom was very supportive of what I’m doing,” Arians said, via NBC Sports. “I mean, I had conflicts with all the players I coached because I insulted them all, including him. Great relationship off the pitch.”

The interesting thing about Arians response is that he basically admits there was friction with Brady saying he had conflicts with every player.

There had actually been reports of friction between the pair over the past few months and Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht didn’t exactly deny the reports when asked about them on March 21.

“There will always be friction between staff members and players and a coach,” Licht said when specifically asked if there was any friction between Brady and Arians, via “It’s just normal.”

Like Arians, Licht basically confirmed there was friction between the two guys, but played it down by adding that it’s “normal” for a player to have that kind of relationship with a coach. What’s not necessarily normal is the timeline of the Arians’ sudden retreat that wasn’t so sudden.

According to to the Tampa Bay Weather, Brady has known for more than two weeks that the Arians were planning to withdraw. In fact, the Tuberculosis time reported that Brady was notified of Arians’ retirement decision on March 13 or March 14, which is extremely notable as Brady announced his return on March 13. On the one hand, the two decisions happening almost at the same time could certainly be a spectacular coincidence, but on the other hand, it seems entirely possible that Arians’ relationship with Brady played a small role in his decision. to retire.

The buccaneers told the Times that Brady’s decision to return to the NFL had nothing to do with Arians’ decision to quit, but the timing of both events will certainly pique the interest of anyone who thinks otherwise.

In the weeks following the initial announcement of Brady’s retirement on Feb. 1, one of the quarterback’s former New England teammates (Rich Ohrnberger) reported that Brady and Arians were not getting along.

Ohrnberger sniffed out a story about Patrick Mahomes earlier this offseason, so it’s easy to attack his credibility, but he spent three years with Brady in New England and is good friends with Buccaneers offensive assistant coach AQ Shipley. , so it’s very possible that he knows what he’s talking about.

Additionally, in the days following Brady’s announcement of his return to the NFL, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported that there was enough friction between the two that a coaching change wouldn’t be completely out of the question, but Breer didn’t think there would ultimately be one because he felt it was too late in the offseason for that to happen. produce.

None of this means Brady played a role in the Arians’ expulsion, but there’s certainly plenty of evidence to suggest that’s at least a possibility. One thing that didn’t force the Arians to retire was his health. Arians, 69, battled cancer and recently tore his Achilles tendon, but said on Wednesday his health was not a factor in his decision.

“Before you start thinking this is about my health, please don’t,” Arians said in a statement. “It’s the best I’ve felt in many years and I can’t wait to help this team keep winning through my new role.”

While it’s unclear if Brady and Arians got along well, one thing is clear: The quarterback had a lot of praise for his former head coach after his retirement announcement. Brady praised the Arians in a social media post and you can check it out by clicking here.

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