Tom Brady Says He Had No Problems with Former Buccaneers Coach Bruce Arians: ‘I Have Great Respect for Him’

by Bryan Fyalkowski

Tom Brady had a press conference on Thursday for the first time this offseason. He was asked about a number of topics, including his relationship with former Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians.

“He and I have a great relationship. I think that’s part of the reason why I chose here was because of Bruce,” Brady said. “He and I have been in incredible communication. I have great respect for him. He knows how I feel about him and I know how he feels about me. That’s the most important thing.”

The quarterback addressed rumors started by Rich Ohrnberger on February 18 that the two had “trouble seeing eye to eye” and the “relationship was souring.” Brady had retired from the NFL on February 1.

Brady announced his return to the team on March 13. But then on March 30, Arians stepped down from his role with the Buccaneers. Third-year defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was announced as his successor. Arians said the time to retire from coaching was then because Brady was back, but not because they had a bad relationship.

“With the organization in probably the best shape it’s been in its history – with Tom Brady coming back – I’d rather see Todd in position to be successful and not have to take some crappy job,” Arians said at the time. “I’m probably retiring next year anyway, in February. So, I control the narrative right now. I don’t control it next February because if Brady gets hurt, we go 10-7, and it’s an open interview for the job.”

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Brady also addressed tight end Rob Gronkowski’s possible return to the team: “I think it’s just obviously totally up to him. We’d all love to play with him, but he’s got to make the best decision for himself and he knows that. Anyone who cares about him knows that he’s doing what’s right for him, which is trying to figure it out. We don’t have training camp for about six weeks, so whatever he’s gotta do to figure it out. I think we’ll be hopeful he does, and if he doesn’t, we still gotta go out there and figure out what to do.”

As of now, Gronkowski remains unsigned for the 2022 season and did not take part in the Buccaneers’ mandatory minicamp from June 7-9. But according to a report by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the team is “optimistic” that the legendary tight end will re-sign sometime before training camp in July.

Brady talked about what went into his decision to return to football after only 40 days of retirement: “We’ve still got a lot to accomplish. I’ve got a long life ahead and there’s a lot of fun things to do ahead. I’m looking forward to what’s ahead in football, but at the same time, none of us are promised much beyond what we have now. This is the current moment, and I’m really excited about going out there to try to compete and win a championship.”