Buccaneers HC Todd Bowles: Tom Brady does not receive special treatment

Tom Brady’s Buccaneers are 3-3 after Sunday’s loss to the Steelers, and the questions are only growing louder.

What’s wrong with this team? Is there internal discord? Why are the Buccaneers, a squad known for explosive offense in years past, struggling to put points on the board?

Perhaps the loudest of all arrived Monday: What’s head coach Todd Bowles’ take on the outside perception Tom Brady gets special treatment?

“He works as hard as anybody,” Bowles told reporters, per The Tampa Bay Times. “Special treatment, there’s been a few guys that have missed some meetings and some practices for special things that just doesn’t get publicized because they’re not him. It kind of comes with the territory. Don’t worry about it too much.”

Brady’s training camp vacation, his in-season off days and his attendance at Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s wedding this past Friday have indeed been very publicized because of who Brady is. They remain an ongoing topic of conversation, though, because Tampa Bay simply hasn’t found its stride as most expected the Buccaneers would have by this point in the season. A statistically strong defense gave up 41 points to Kansas City in Week 4, the Bucs fought through some complacency to hang on and beat Atlanta in Week 5, and then allowed a combination of Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky to beat them in Week 6.

This last loss was undoubtedly the worst of their three defeats, and it looked a lot like the Bucs’ Week 3 loss to Green Bay. It also came against a defense that had just allowed 38 points in Buffalo the week prior.

Tampa Bay’s inconsistencies can be chalked up to a rotating cast of playmakers due to injuries and suspensions, but on Sunday, Brady had both Chris Godwin and Mike Evans available. Leonard Fournette led the way for the running backs, too, yet the Bucs barely broke 300 yards of offense, went 4 for 14 on third down and found the end zone once all afternoon.

Something isn’t right, and Brady — a notoriously obsessive worker — will continue to be at the center of these questions. This is the attention that comes with being a seven-time Super Bowl champion. Bowles was asked Monday if Brady appears as focused as he’s been known to be in years past.

Bowles’ answer was understandably concise: “Yes.”

Tampa Bay will hope to let its play speak for itself in the weeks ahead.

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