Arians coach on Sunday as Brady, Bucs take on Wilson, Jets in biggest QB age gap

TAMPA, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 22: Head coach Bruce Arians of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers chats with No. 12 Tom Brady during warm-ups before the game against the New York Giants at Raymond James Stadium on November 22, 2021 in Tampa, in Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehr

Tom Brady was starting his senior season in Michigan when he celebrated his 22nd birthday, a fresh-faced quarterback who was eight months away from being an unrecognized sixth-round pick.

It was August 3, 1999 – also the day Zach Wilson was born.

“It’s funny because I think I’ve known that from elementary school or something,” said Wilson, the New York Jets rookie quarterback, with a smile. “It was always something that I found pretty cool.”

When Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to MetLife Stadium to

It’s happened a few times lately for Brady, 44, most notably when he faced 23-year-old Mac Jones of New England in week four. And a few weeks later, when he faced the 22-year-old from Chicago. Justin Champs. Wilson is five months younger than Fields, so the story will be remade on Sunday.

“It’s the same birthday in August, but what’s cool is I think he was born in 1977 and I was in 1999, so it’s 22 years later,” Wilson said. “It’s just crazy, isn’t it, to play in the same game.”

Brady is 30-8 in his career against the Jets, including 1-1 in the playoffs, but this is the first time he will play against them since joining the Buccaneers (11-4).

New York has at least two dozen players on its active roster who have never played against Brady. So this is new territory for many Jets – some of whom might need to fight the urge to feel a little star.hit when they see the seven-time Super Bowl champion.

“Being able to see that as he grows up he wins no matter what the circumstances or the situation and then line up in front of him is something a lot of people dream of,” said 27-year-old defensive tackle Sheldon. Rankins, who has been in the field against Brady twice while in New Orleans.

“Then to be able to do that, for a split second, guys can really just sit there and be like, ‘Wait a minute, it’s Tom Brady,’” he added. “It will happen to someone, but when the balls start flying, it’s football. It’s time to go win a game.”

Easier said than done, of course. Especially with Brady and the Buccaneers

But first, the Bucs have to get past Wilson and a bunch of young cocks.

“He’s Tom Brady, but you got to treat him like a nameless, faceless guy,” Rankins said, “and go ahead and go over your progressions, go over your keys and play football like you have. played football your whole life. “


Wilson set some franchise records in the

His 91 yards on four carries set the team’s mark for the quarterfinals, and his 52-yard touchdown was the longest – scoring or not – of any QB in Jets history. It all contributed to New York rushing for 273 yards, the most of any team this season.

It might be a little more difficult to start the game against the run this week: the Buccaneers have second ground defense.


Bruce Arians tested positive for the coronavirus earlier in the week, but on Saturday the Bucs said he would coach the game. With the Arians in isolation at home after testing positive for the coronavirus this week, assistant head coach / running game coordinator Harold Goodwin served as the interim head coach for the defending Super Bowl champions.

“The lack of BA is not a problem… because all coaches know what to do,” Goodwin said. “My job is just to be here (and) running everything until BA comes back.”

Goodwin is in his 17th season as an NFL assistant and has spent most of his time working with Arians, who is in his third year with Tampa Bay. The 48-year-old aspires to one day lead his own team.

“There are a lot of good coaches here in this National Football League who are good leaders, they just don’t call games like me,” Goodwin said. “I really want it. I hope that someday it will come my way.”


Jets coach Robert Saleh can understand what the Arians face after missing the game against Jacksonville while recovering from COVID-19.

He was quarantined at a New Jersey hotel and tight ends coach Ron Middleton led the team in practice and on game day in his absence, but Saleh was


Sunday will be a kind of homecoming for former Jets coach Todd Bowles, Bucs defensive coordinator. He was New York’s high school coach in 2000 and went 24-40 as a head coach from 2015 to 2018.

The Tampa Bay defense have been understaffed much of the season due to injury, but are in better health and showing signs of a return to the dominant form that was a big part of the Super Bowl run. from last season.

The Bucs have not allowed a touchdown in the last two games, allowing three field goals in a 9-0 loss to New Orleans and two more field goals in a 32-6 win over La Caroline. The unit had seven sacks, bringing their season tally to 44 – tied with Minnesota for second in the league.

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