Bruce Arians weighs in on Tom Brady’s private workout away from team
Tom Brady was a conspicuous but expected absence at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ OTAs this week, opting instead to conduct a private workout with some teammates away from team facilities. Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, despite approving Brady’s off-site activities, understandably would have preferred it if the workout was under the team’s watchful eyes.
Brady led a contingent of Bucs players — including backup quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin, receivers Rob Gronkowski, Cameron Brate and Chris Godwin, along with running backs Giovani Bernard and Ronald Jones — at Monday’s workout. The session was held at the New York Yankees’ spring training facility in Tampa. Evidence of the session was shared by Brady in Instagram stories.
Speaking to reporters this week from OTAs, Arians expressed his concerns over the private workout, saying having the players practice with the team is best “for their own protection.”
“I’d rather see them do it here, for their own protection,” Arians said.
As noted, Brady’s absence from OTAs hardly came as a surprise. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Brady led a fiery push against OTAs during a recent NFLPA conference call. The Buccaneers signal-caller specifically railed against such “overly competitive” offseason drills during his reported “impassioned speech.”
There has a been a strong push-back by players over OTAs this offseason after the move last season to virtual workouts due to the pandemic. Numerous teams issued statements through the NFLPA indicating players would stay away from OTAs, which are optional.
Even Arians indicated this week that he supported veterans and starters skipping out on OTAs.
“I just told them, ‘Don’t be here,'” Arians said, via ESPN. “I’d love to have them in the meetings, watching film, do some team building. We’ve had some guys come in and out. But as far as if you were a starter, you weren’t gonna be on the field anyway.”
A seasoned veteran like Brady obviously does not need organized team activities at this stage of his career. Further, Brady made it abundantly clear on social media this week that he is already locked in and eager to begin the defense of the Bucs’ Super Bowl championship this fall.