Tom Brady, Todd Bowles have differing takes on the Buccaneers’ game-day effort

As the Buccaneers try to put early-season dysfunction in the rear-view mirror and chase an NFC South championship, the head coach and the team’s most important player have differing takes on the key question of whether, when it’s time to play games, the players are showing enough effort.

The folks at have highlighted the clashing characterizations. First, here’s Brady from earlier in the week on his Let’s Go! podcast.

“There’s definitely some things we do well,” Brady said, via “There’s a lot of things we don’t do well. I think too much of good, bad, good, bad, good, bad, leaves you average. And no one’s trying to be average. If you want to be a great team, you’ve got to be way better than average. So correcting our mistakes, improving our effort — which, that’s probably the most embarrassing part of our team is our effort level on game day, and that’s something we better fix.”

Bowles, appearing the following day on the Buccaneers Radio Network, made it clear that he doesn’t believe effort is the issue.

“It was huge [to beat the Rams] after losing three weeks in a row, you get very sour and you have a very sour taste in your mouth for a long time, not from lack of effort, but lack of execution, lack of doing things right,” Bowles said.

As noted by, Bowles wasn’t asked about effort. He mentioned it on his own. Which invites speculation that Bowles wanted to make the point about the team’s effort, specifically to counter Brady’s position that it has been “embarrassing.”

It makes sense for Bowles to push back. He’s the one responsible for ensuring that the players muster the appropriate effort when it’s time to play. If the effort is “embarrassing,” the embarrassment traces to Bowles.

Whatever the reason, the results haven’t been good enough. But the Bucs have a record good enough to put them in first place in the division with eight games to play.

Tom Brady, Todd Bowles have differing takes on the Buccaneers’ game-day effort originally appeared on Pro Football Talk