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Tom Brady

Bruce Arians on Tom Brady’s performance on Sunday: ‘It’s kind of unusual’

Bruce Arians talks to quarterback Tom Brady during a recent practice in Tampa.
Bruce Arians talks to quarterback Tom Brady during a recent practice in Tampa.Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

What did Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians think of Tom Brady’s debut Sunday against the New Orleans Saints?

He thought it was an unusual performance by his legendary quarterback.

“He looked like Tom Brady in practice all the time, so it’s kind of unusual to see that in a ballgame because they didn’t do things that we didn’t get ready for,” Arians said. “Everything they did, we thought we were ready for,” Arians said. "Some wide receivers have to do a better job of winning one-on-one when he decides to go their way. He put us in the right run checks a couple times. It was a learning experience that way.

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“Can’t say that we were out of synch because we started out as good as you could start out going right down the field,” he added. “Then, we don’t get any more chunk plays other than pass interference penalties. I think it’s a great learning experience. It’s just Round 1 of a 16-round fight and we’ll learn from it.”

Brady, who was 23-of-36 for 239 yards, threw two touchdowns and two costly interceptions in the Bucs’ 34-23 loss. He was intercepted by Marcus Williams in the second quarter, then in the third quarter by Janoris Jenkins, who returned it 36 yards for a touchdown to give the Saints a 24-7 lead.

After reviewing film Monday, Arians admitted that Brady’s first interception was a costly mistake by wide receiver Mike Evans, not Brady.

“No doubt,” he said. “It wasn’t Cover 2, it was quarters coverage and Mike should have been splitting, going down the middle and never stopping.”

Brady was critical of himself for throwing two interceptions, calling them “bad throws” — to put it plainly.

“It doesn’t matter how much talent you have if you throw interceptions returned for touchdowns, so I’ve got to correct that,” he said.

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Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians reacts from the sideline during the first half of Sunday's loss to New Orleans.
Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians reacts from the sideline during the first half of Sunday's loss to New Orleans.Butch Dill/Associated Press

Arians had critiques, as well, for Brady’s performance.

“It speaks for itself. If you’re throwing an out route and you throw it low and inside — that hasn’t been the case up until that one,” Arians said. “He was a little bit late on it. And probably a better decision to go somewhere else with the ball.”

He also had words for Brady’s sulky demeanor after the loss:

“He’s had it before — he knows how to bounce back,” Arians said. “He knew he didn’t play very well and it’s not what he expects from himself, nor what we expect. I would anticipate him to have a little more grit [and] a little more determination this week.”