Chris Godwin Says Tom Brady, Bucs WRs Aren’t Bothered with Taking Blame

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (14) during an NFL football training camp practice Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

Bruce Arians didn’t mince words after Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Saints, saying Tom Brady just didn’t play well. 

In face of criticism of his quarterback’s performance, wideout Chris Godwin said Brady is unbothered by the blunt assessment of his Buccaneers debut. 

“We understand that often, quarterbacks take the large majority of the blame for what happens with the team,” Godwin told reporters Tuesday. “But we’ve been around Tom enough to know that he’s not bothered by that. We certainly aren’t bothered by it. We understand the type of player that he is.

“Him coming here, just raising the standard—we understand that we all have to be better, individually and collectively. We’re gonna take all that in stride.”

Brady threw for 239 yards and two touchdowns against two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. His 34.5 QBR ranked 27th among all quarterbacks in Week 1, and the majority of his counting stats came with the Buccaneers down two or three scores.

“It’s a situation where all that verbiage, when you’re under the gun, is different, and now you’re getting hit for the first time, too. It’s all different,” Arians told reporters. “He’s had it before. He knows how to bounce back. He knew he didn’t play very well. It’s not what he expects from himself, nor do we expect. I would anticipate him to have a little more grit, a little more determination this week.”

Arians also called out his team’s receivers for failing to win more one-on-one battles on the outside. Godwin finished with a team-high six receptions for 79 yards. Mike Evans, who was limited due to a hamstring injury, hauled in just a single pass for two yards.

Brady’s struggles aren’t anything new for anyone who watched the Patriots in the second half of 2019. With a more favorable matchup coming up Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, it’ll be interesting to see if Brady looks as strong as Arians said he has in practice.