Tom Brady's first professional football game in anything other than a New England Patriots uniform did not go well at all. He threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell to the New Orleans Saints, 34-23. Merely looking at the numbers, a viewer would be hard-pressed to know if the Bucs changed quarterbacks between 2019 and 2020.
It was Week 1, though, and any sort of sweeping declaration that will be made about Brady's new partnership will probably be proven wrong within the span of three weeks. Brady had to adjust to a new scheme and system without the benefit of live-game reps with no preseason and a shortened training camp. Rapport between receiver and quarterback does not just manifest on its own. That does not mean Bruce Arians is going to cut his 43-year-old quarterback any slack.
After the game yesterday, Arians said both picks were Brady's fault. He backtracked on that a bit speaking to media today, saying the first was actually Mike Evans' fault for misdiagnosing the coverage. But then Arians said it pretty plainly: Brady didn't see anything he wasn't expecting, he just didn't get the job done. Hard stop.
This is not New England, where Bill Belichick spent 20 years muttering his way through postgame pressers after a loss without putting an ounce of blame on any individual. Brady will not find comfort in the "We need to do better as a team" coachisms that his former coach broadly employed.
This will be a fun season. Obviously Brady knew what he was getting into when he signed on the dotted line and it would be ridiculous to point to a standard, abrasive Arians quote as any sign that things might not be going well. But how Brady will respond will be interesting, because we've never seen him get called out by a coach before in this manner. Tampa will probably bounce back, with their next three games coming against average-at-best opponents. But man, if they don't? The Arians quote machine will be raring to go.