The Bucs suffered their worst defeat of the season at the hands of Brock Purdy and the 49ers on Sunday. A 35-7 walloping displayed many of the same problems that have plagued the offense all year long. Lack of creativity, poor play calling and sequencing, and lack of execution all contributed to the loss.
Sunday evening San Francisco Chronicle writer Mike Silver offered his own opinion on the matter and cited Bucs quarterback Tom Brady as part of the problem. In his article Silver insinuated Brady meets with his offensive skill players and makes revisions to the game plan. It’s well-documented how the 23-year veteran, who is a film junkie, often has these meetings to go over perceived mismatches and tendencies he notices of the opposition.
However, what Silver suggested is he is doing this without looping in head coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.
“The level of responsibility that Brady imposes upon himself has always been massive, and this year, he’s taxed to the max,” Silver writes. “One example: The night before each game, Brady runs a separate meeting with the Bucs’ skill players during which he goes over the game plan, makes tweaks to assignments and formations and provides a revised blueprint — one which first-year head coach Todd Bowles, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and the rest of the staff are left to discover in real time once the game begins.”
The claim is a stretch given the fact that Brady and his teammates have been vocal about these meetings and late night text message exchanges in the past. For the most part, the future Hall of Fame quarterback has little input on how the game is called outside of two-minute and hurry-up offense. The Bucs quarterback is not a field general like Peyton Manning was, and routinely sticks to the play that is called in the huddle.
Bucs HC Bowles Says Brady’s Tweaks Are Nothing New
During his Monday press conference, Bowles rebuked the claim that he and Leftwich are left in the dark about any revisions or tweeks made and offered that his is not the only position group that holds these meetings.
“No, we know what’s going on in the meeting and we know all the tweaks,” Bowles said. “The defensive guys meet by themselves as well. We have several position groups that meet by themselves as well to get on the same page together before a game. That’s nothing… that’s not new.”
While Leftwich has faced the most scrutiny this season, and for good reason Brady is not completed of his part in this offense. The game plan is a collaborative effort between not just the two but multiple members of the staff and other players. However, when the game starts it’s Leftwich calling the plays and Brady trying his best to execute them.
“Well, it’s a collaboration” Bowles furthered. “It’s a collaboration with [quarterbacks coach] Clyde[Christensen)TomsomeofthereceiversaswelltryingtogettherightplaysinthathelikesthethingsthatByronlikesandthenmeshingittogetherIt’sbeenlikethatsincehe’sbeenhere”[Christensen)TomsomeofthereceiversaswelltryingtogettherightplaysinthathelikesthethingsthatByronlikesandthenmeshingittogetherIt’sbeenlikethatsincehe’sbeenhere”
It’s okay to wonder what the offense might look like if more of what Brady likes were incorporated into the offense. What we’ve seen from the play-calling outside of two-minute and hurry-up has been quite frankly, uninspiring.
Lack of pre-snap motion, creativity to scheme guys open, and infrequent usage of play-action, which the Bucs are one of the better teams while utilizing, have left this offense a shell of its former self. But to suggest the struggles fall on Brady for making late night tweaks to the “blueprint” is falling short of the mark.