Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles has denied his quarterback Tom Brady is given preferential treatment by the team.
The 45-year-old missed Friday’s walk through to attend the wedding of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, with whom he won six Super Bowls during his time in New England. Brady was also given an extended break during pre-season training camp to address personal issues and is given the option of weekly days off during the season, a first during his decades long career but a not uncommon benefit for veterans in the league. Brady has chosen not to take the weekly days off in the last couple of weeks.
The Bucs lost to the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday following Brady’s trip to the Kraft wedding. But Bowles said Brady’s work schedule does not have a negative impact on team dynamics.
“He works as hard as anybody, Bowles said. “Special treatment – there have been a few guys that have missed meetings and some practices for some special thing – that just doesn’t get publicized because they’re not him. It just kind of comes with the territory. You don’t worry about it too much.”
The Bucs were tipped by many to reach the Super Bowl this season in a relatively weak NFC but are 3-3 after a bumpy start to the season. Brady’s QBR rating of 52.1 puts him 15th out of 32 qualified quarterbacks so far this season, an unusually low ranking for a player of his pedigree. Tampa are also averaging 19.0 points through six games, well down on their average of 30.33 at this stage in 2021.
Brady has appeared frustrated at times in recent weeks. He broke a tablet on the sidelines during a game against the New Orleans Saints and was recorded cursing at his linemen during the Steelers game.
In mitigation, Brady’s receivers and offensive-line have suffered injuries, while the quarterback has had shoulder and finger issues to deal with. Bowles said he does not believes Brady’s injuries have affected his accuracy.
“As far as I know, he’s totally healthy,” Bowles said. “He’s completely healthy.”