As the random images from Sunday evening’s clash at the Superdome can attest, Tom Brady isn’t above getting in the grill of an official from time to time.
Speaking on his weekly “Let’s Go” podcast Monday, the Bucs quarterback copped to it, acknowledging he’s a chronic antagonist of the guys in stripes.
“There were a lot of tight calls, and I was still complaining about all of them,” said Brady, whose team was whistled 11 times for 99 yards in Sunday’s 36-27 loss to the Saints.
“I’m always complaining to the referees. ... When they see that they get selected for my game, they lose sleep because they realize I’m a pain in the ass. That’s just kind of the way it goes.”
Following Sunday’s debacle, the Bucs lead the NFL in penalty yards (580) and rank second in total infractions (59). In addition to the 11 whistles, Brady lost a fumble and was intercepted twice, tossing a pick-six to safety P.J. Williams with 1:24 remaining to seal the outcome.
“Both times down there (including the 2020 season opener), we’ve turned it over three times and you’re not going to beat those guys (in New Orleans) with the number of penalties and the turnovers,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians said earlier Monday. “That’s all we talked about all week going into the game.”
Brady, however, was careful to balance talk of his team’s self-infliction with credit for New Orleans. The Saints (5-2) now have won six consecutive regular season games against Tampa Bay (6-2); Brady himself is 4-4 all-time in regular season meetings with New Orleans.
“You give the other guy credit for doing what he should do,” he said. “And even if you make a mistake, they’ve still got to take advantage of a mistake. That’s called being a sore loser or poor sport if you just say, ‘Oh, we only lost because we screwed up.’”
Among other topics addressed Monday by Brady:
His restless night following Sunday’s loss:
You know what’s pretty amazing is, I’ve played this game for 22 years professionally and plus, I don’t know, nine others high school and college, and the losses always feel the exact same — they suck. God, I got an hour’s sleep, and the way we lost was tough.”
Whether he ever wins arguments with officials:
“Most of the time they basically ignore me, because everyone’s yelling for calls. ... There’s holding for every play in the NFL, it’s just whether they’re going to call it or not. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t. They basically even out over the course of the season.”
Whether his team again is adjusting to crowd noise on the road after playing in mostly empty stadiums in 2020:
“We kind of, I would say, got spoiled in one way of not having to do that last year. ... I don’t know how many plays (crowd noise) affects in a game, but even if it’s four or five, and you run 50 or 60 plays, that’s 10 percent of the plays where communication is not the way that it needs to be. And if you’re thinking that one or two plays separates winning from losing, then yeah, it definitely has an effect. And part of being a good football team is going on the road and winning, and beating good football teams on the road. And that’s why non-verbal communication is so important.”
The Broncos’ trade of eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller to the Rams:
“I think it’s easy to say, ‘Now because of this, this is going to mean this going forward.’ Not to lose perspective, and this isn’t to downplay the addition of any great players, but you play 17 regular season games and you tally them up at the end and you see where everyone’s at. There’s a lot of things that are going to take place between now and the end of the season.”
Which guy, in all of sports, would he like to fight and knock out? (Brady, a huge boxing fan, was asked this in light of Saturday night’s super middleweight unification bout between Canelo Alvarez and Caleb Plant):
“It really would be Brutus Buckeye, the Ohio State mascot. He knows what he did.” (Brady didn’t elaborate.)
Contact Joey Knight at email@example.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls