TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles said Monday that quarterback Tom Brady missing the team’s walk-through to attend New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s wedding in New York had no impact on the Bucs’ 20-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
He also said he doesn’t believe Brady is receiving preferential treatment by being able to attend the Friday wedding — which caused him to miss the team’s Saturday walk-through — or having weekly days off or taking an 11-day break during training camp to tend to personal issues.
“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.”
Brady met the team at its hotel in Pittsburgh, where he attended his usual pregame meetings, and he did not take a weekly off day the past two weeks.
Bowles said he doesn’t believe giving Brady time off to attend a social function or tend to a personal matter during camp has impacted his other teammates, who look to him as their leader and might think it’s OK to slack off or not put forth the same level of preparation.
When asked if Brady is as “locked in” as he’s been in the past, Bowles said, “Yes,” adding that more players miss walk-throughs and meetings than people realize.
But the Bucs’ and Brady’s struggles through six games have been startling for an offense that averaged over 30.33 points per game through the first six weeks of the season last year. In 2022, they’re averaging 19.0 points a game.
Brady’s Total QBR of 52.1 is his lowest since ESPN implemented the metric in 2006. His eight touchdown passes are his lowest since 2016, when he saw action in only two games, and prior to that, he had eight touchdowns in 2011.
Brady’s red zone completion percentage is down from 62.2% this time last year to 56.7%. His red zone touchdowns are down from 11 last season and 12 in 2020 — when he was playing in a brand-new offense — to seven this year.
Brady has been dealing with an injury to his right ring finger suffered in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints and a shoulder injury since taking a hard hit in Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Bowles said he doesn’t believe those are affecting him. Brady was last on the Bucs’ injury report leading into the Bucs’ Week 5 game against the Atlanta Falcons.
“As far as I know, he’s totally healthy,” Bowles said. “He’s completely healthy.”
When asked if there’s anything health-wise that’s affecting the accuracy of his throwing, Bowles said, “No.”