Bruce Arians has advanced to a 2021 conference championship game.
Bill Belichick has not.
Arians, who now has Belichick’s former quarterback on this team, is taking a victory lap. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach fired a not-so veiled shot at his New England Patriots counterpart on Monday, letting the world know that he thinks he’s doing a better job with Tom Brady.
‘I allow him to coach’
Arians unleashed the take in an interview with NBC’s Peter King in a discussion lauding Brady’s leadership qualities.
“Consummate leader,” Arians told King. “Has been all year. Got the air of confidence that permeates through our team every day.
“I allow him to be himself. Like, New England didn’t allow him to coach. I allow him to coach. I just sit back sometimes and watch.”
So, yeah. Much has been made about who would win the Brady-Belichick breakup after the six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback bolted New England for Tampa Bay. If you believe in such tally-taking, then Brady is winning by a wide margin, sitting two wins away from a seventh championship in a season that Belichick missed the playoffs without him.
Brady’s not talking about it. Arians appears happy to carry the torch along with a side of look-at-me. And more power to him. These deep rides are rare in the NFL — unless you’re Belichick, of course. But Arians might as well make the most of it. And if that means extra chirping from his corner, then so be it.
Arians takes random swipe at Chase Young too
Monday’s wasn’t even the first random shot of the week fired by the Tampa Bay coach. After his Bucs beat the New Orleans Saints in Sunday’s divisional round game, he took a swipe at Washington’s rookie pass-rushing phenom Chase Young.
In talking up Bucs rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. after the win, Arians argued that he, not Young deserves to win Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. He tossed in a shot at Young’s stat line for good measure.
“Seven and a half sacks isn’t anything to what he’s done,” Arians said of Young’s sack tally.
Maybe Young irked Arians with his respectful back-and-forth with Brady around Tampa’s wild-card playoff win over Washington. Or maybe Arians, who’s rarely shy, is just feeling it on the precipice of the NFC championship game.
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