TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has said this season "once Tom Brady figures you out, you’re in trouble."
There has never been a quarterback better at taking what the defense gives than the 44-year-old Brady.
“Watching him play, he is a surgeon,” Arians said. “He’s going to figure you out if you’re going to play two-deep shell if you’re rotating. He’ll figure it out real quick. It’s hard on the defense, that’s for sure.”
Brady led the Bucs to a 31-15 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Wild Card round Sunday. He threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns — even without top wide receivers Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and up-coming receiver Cyril Grayson. The Bucs were even without their top two running backs Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones.
“It’s fun, that’s the most fun for me in this game is calling plays,” Arians said. “Watching your quarterback don’t get caught up with who is catching the ball, just throw it to the guys that are open. Don’t force it downfield, but you can get just as many yards dinking and dunking making first downs.”
Tampa Bay begins the week with uncertainty on the offensive line. Arians said Monday that he likely won’t know the statuses of all-pro offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs and center Ryan Jensen until Friday. Both players suffered ankle sprains during Sunday’s game.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries in the past but you end up 8-8,” Arians said. “To be 14-4 with everything that has gone on it’s a credit to the coaching staff, more so to the players. We talked in the locker room after the game, you put that Bucs helmet on there is a level of expectation. You can’t be the guy you’re replacing, you have to be the best guy you can be.”
The Bucs will know Monday night whether they are facing the Arizona Cardinals or Los Angeles rams in the NFC Divisional Round. That game will be played this Sunday at 3 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium.