TAMPA — Brett Favre was critical of Bucs coach Bruce Arians for calling out Tom Brady following his two interceptions in a 34-23 loss at New Orleans last week.
The Packers Hall of Fame quarterback said Arians was “barking up the wrong tree,” noting there were many other mistakes in the game.
But that didn’t stop Favre from attending Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium. Favre was seen in the west side of the lower bowl wearing a Tom Brady/Bucco Bruce T-shirt.
Favre is in Tampa as part of his job as an NFL Films correspondent for their production of NFL: The Grind, which airs on Epix. He is working on a story about Bucs linebacker Devin White.
Favre also has a few connections to the Panthers. The best man in his wedding was Kent Johnson, who was hired by first-year Panthers coach Matt Rhule to be Carolina’s director of player wellness. Johnson was a strength and conditioning coach with Favre in Green Bay, and before that worked with the Bucs.
Johnston’s son, Clay, was coached by Rhule at Baylor and is currently on the Panthers' practice squad.
Favre’s Sunday appearance was planned before his comments questioning Arians.
Arians noted that Brady didn’t play well and made a bad decision on a pass that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown against the Saints.
“He knew he didn’t play very well," Arians told reporters on Monday. “He looked like Tom Brady in practice all the time, so it’s kind of unusual to see that in a ball game because they didn’t do things that we didn’t get ready for.”
But Favre, who knows something about changing teams and throwing interceptions, took exception.
“I think the last person you want to call out after the first game of the year is Tom Brady,” Favre said Tuesday on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Now maybe they had a mutual truce going into the game, going into the season, ‘Hey, I’m going to be hard on you. I want the guys to know we’re going to treat you the same even though technically I’m not, so are you okay with it?’ If they have that truce, great. If not, I think you are barking up the wrong tree. Dissension could easily enter quickly.'
"Maybe the Saints didn’t do anything that they were not ready for other than we didn’t protect very well, Tom gets hit a couple of times, you get a little jittery, it happens. First half of the Super Bowl against the Falcons he was getting nailed, played lackluster at best. They went in, had a ‘Come to Jesus’ at halftime, they don’t even come close to touching him in the second half, and he’s flawless. So they clean up the protection, the timing, the chemistry will come. Will it come overnight? I highly doubt it but it will come pretty quickly though and they very easily could be 4-1 after five weeks.”
Today, Favre will see if Brady can go 1-1.
Times staff writer Eduardo A. Encina contributed to this report.