Tom Brady stepped to the mic to speak to the media Thursday and a lot of thought provoking things were touched upon. One thing that was particularly interesting was a question posed about the fact that the Buccaneers are still in first place in the NFC South, Brady was asked how motivating that is, because although the season hasn’t gone as planned all the Buccaneers’ goals are still obtainable, even if unlikely. That prompted Brady to explore a deep, nearly two minute answer, rooted in reflection. The 45 year old went on, from a very realistic viewpoint, about how in the NFL, “You get what you deserve” and subtly dropped a comp to the drop-off currently being experienced by the most recent Super Bowl winner, the Los Angeles Rams. While the main theme of Brady’s reply was one of effort and that the Bucs need to simply come together as a team in order to earn the success they want to achieve, the very last snippet of Brady’s response was seemingly a supportive helping hand to Tampa Bay’s embattled head coach—
“I think I really appreciate what Todd’s doing… He’s putting it on us to fix it and that’s what our responsibility is to do.”
While on surface the quarterback’s quote shows fairly clear and transparent support for a coach who could use some publicly, my devil’s advocate side pushes me to look at this quote inversely and wonder if Tom is truly satisfied with Bowles’ approach to Tampa’s struggles or creatively calling out the problem. Is this a player standing up for his coach or a player politely pulling back the curtain to expose him? If this is Tom saying in fact, the coach isn’t coaching guys on how to be professionals then he is saying that Bowles is relying on the players, as individuals, to handle themselves a certain way. Though amidst his thorough answer Tom did praise his teammates’ work ethic, the win-loss record of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would reflect otherwise. A talented team that underachieves as much as this one has either has a coaching problem, or faces a lack of motivation. No matter who’s to blame the Buccaneers do still have everything out in front of them with all the potential to turn their season around.
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