Rob Ryan: Bruce Arians and Tampa Bay Buccaneers grossly out-coached by New Orleans Saints
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By Cameron Hogwood
Last Updated: 20/09/20 10:47am
Former NFL coach Rob Ryan insists the Tampa Bay Buccaneers must "meet Tom Brady halfway" after the quarterback endured a forgettable debut in Sunday's defeat to the New Orleans Saints.
The six-time Super Bowl champion was picked off twice in the 34-23 loss, cornerback Janoris Jenkins returning the second for a 36-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Earlier in the day Cam Newton had started life as Brady's successor in New England with a win over the Miami Dolphins during which he rushed for the most yards from a Patriots quarterback since Steve Grogan in November 1977. Newton ran for 75 yards on 15 carries in the first sighting of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels moulding his approach to the former MVP-winning dual-threat.
Ryan believes head coach Bruce Arians and the Bucs must play to Brady's strengths in a similar way.
"First of all, I thought his team was grossly out-coached in the game," said Ryan on Inside the Huddle. "Not with Todd Bowles, I thought Todd Bowles did a great job on defense but I'm talking about first of all, the special teams was atrocious.
"The biggest thing is Brady throws the interception, it was his eighth deep out he tried to throw. Brady throws one every four games in New England.
"He never ran one empty formation with (Rob) Gronkowski in the slot and that little (Scotty) Miller kid running options. Well he runs 12 of those a game in New England.
"Josh McDaniels found a great spot for Cam Newton to be successful, they've got to meet Brady halfway. Did he miss some throws? Absolutely. But that throw to the out, that was terrible. That's not his throw, he doesn't make those throws."
Arians didn't refrain from criticising Brady publicly after the game, particularly when it came to his two interceptions, explaining: "He looked like Tom Brady in practice all the time, so it's kind of unusual to see that in the ballgame because they didn't do the things that we didn't get ready for."
Ryan disagreed with the Buccaneers coach's approach with his quarterback and believes he should be addressing his own performance in the defeat.
"'If you want to get ripped publicly, I'll rip you publicly', because that's the wrong thing to do to Tom Brady. He would get ripped by Bill Belichick privately and in the meetings amongst his peers, out in the paper what's the big deal?
"How about rip yourself?"
The Bucs' mistake-ridden opening to the season was somewhat typified early in the fourth quarter when Thomas Morstead was sent out to make a well-executed mortar kick after a 15-yard penalty against the Saints. A mortar kick typically strives for height rather than distance in order to increase the chances of a fair catch and reduce the opportunity for a big return.
Confusion between Jaydon Mickens and Mike Edwards would result in a muffed return, which was graciously pounced on by an alert Bennie Fowler to set up a drive leading to a Saints field goal.
"You have a mortar kick, why kicking off do they have a holder? How about because they need to turn the tee upside down so he can get more height on the mortar kick," continued Ryan. "That's called being prepared.
"It makes two inches of difference but the ball goes 10 yards higher. That's what they did and why they had Morstead kicking off instead of Lutz because he does it better. That's a prepared team.
"When you go see Tampa. You've got a guy running back 40 yards to catch a mortar kick, which you never go back to catch any kickoff, you always go forward, that's rule one. Apparently they never taught that.
"The worst though was the guy fielding the kick. You've got to catch that ball. But by the way watch your foot outside, it's a sideline catch on a kickoff. Put your foot outside, now if you drop it it doesn't matter, you can not legally fumble a ball once your foot is outside, but you can return it.
"Did that returner know? There's no way he knew. You want to blame somebody? Blame yourself because your team was out-coached."
Tampa committed nine penalties during the game, among those Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea being caught for neutral zone infractions and Jordan Whitehead gifting the Saints a touchdown with a 33-yard defensive pass interference penalty.
Brady and the Bucs are now due to host Matt Rhule's Carolina Panthers this coming Sunday.
The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks meet again on Sunday night for the first time since a truly memorable meeting in Super Bowl XLIX that went right down to the wire - or, should we say, the final play on the goal line.
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Click on the video above to watch Warne and Hussain make their Week Two predictions, with Warne showing the love for Tom Brady and Hussain tipping the Ravens and Saints for the Super Bowl - if he can read his phone!
Sky Sports NFL will be your dedicated channel for NFL coverage through the season - featuring a host of NFL Network programming, a new weekly preview show as well as at least five games a week and NFL Redzone, you won't miss a moment.