Last year, Tom Brady had a collection of healthy receivers who collectively weren’t very good. This year, Brady has a collection of good receivers who can’t stay healthy.
Although there’s a chance all of the Buccaneers receivers will dress and play on Sunday, coach Bruce Arians explained that the varying availabilities of receivers for practices and games complicates Brady’s ability to run the offense.
“It’s really hard,” Arians told reporters on Friday. “[Offensive coordinator] Byron [Leftwich] does a good job. I think the harder part is Tom not seeing those guys in practice until late in the week. You miss Wednesday, you miss Thursday [and] you get limited reps on Friday and try to play in a ballgame. He’s throwing to other guys [during the week] and sometimes that can be really, really hard on a quarterback, especially one that hasn’t been with these guys that long. It poses a lot of problems, but we’re working through it. Tom’s working through it and he’s done a great job with some of those young guys, too.”
Still, it’s Tom Brady. Which makes it more likely that Brady will find a way.
“I think he’s dialed in really hard,” Arians said of Brady. “When you start losing the pieces to the puzzle that you’ve worked with and start adding new pieces, it takes a little time. I thought he did a great job of incorporating [Jaydon] Mickens, [Cyril] Grayson [and Tanner] Hudson all in the game plan last week and [he was] not afraid to throw them the ball. Ke’Shawn [Vaughn] has evolved [and] Tyler [Johnson] has evolved. He’s got a lot of trust in these guys and hopefully when we get back to full speed, we’ll see how it goes.”
Once the best of the Tampa Bay receivers are back to full health on a regular basis, the offense will likely take off. Until then, it won’t be easy for the Bucs to be as good as they can be.
On Sunday, it definitely won’t be as easy to beat the Packers as it otherwise could be. Not that it ever was going to be easy.
Receiver injuries are holding back the Tampa Bay offense originally appeared on Pro Football Talk