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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers struggled at points during the season with reports of an emerging rift between Tom Brady and Bruce Arians because the coach dared to criticize the legendary quarterback publicly — but you wouldn’t have guessed that with Super Bowl LV right around the corner.
Brady spoke glowingly about Arians as the team prepared for a historic trip to Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 7.
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“He’s a great man. A great leader. A great person. A great friend,” Brady said Thursday, via ESPN. “He’s very loyal. He’s just got a great way about communicating effectively with everybody around here.”
Brady added: “Everybody has a great affection for him, for the person he is. There’s nobody that would ever say anything bad about BA. He’s just so endearing to everybody. And I think everyone wants to win for him.”
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It wasn’t all rosy. Even at 3-2, reports of a rift between the player and coach started to emerge as Arians would direct criticisms toward Brady. The quarterback even cut a postgame interview short because of an Arians question.
But everything appeared to be in the past as Tampa Bay gets ready to play the defending-champion Kansas City Chiefs.
“He puts a lot into it, expects a lot out of it,” Brady said of Arians. “He has high expectations for us every day at practice. Just really excited for him to be recognized the way that he is. I know he’s two-time Coach of the Year, but he’s really done an amazing job this year with the team in really adverse situations. I just love playing for him.”
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Brady is in line for his seventh Super Bowl ring.