Sports

Arians: Brady might be ‘coaching’ at minicamp

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday that he’s unsure how much quarterback Tom Brady will do in next week’s mandatory minicamp because of his recovery from offseason knee surgery.

Brady has been throwing in private workouts with teammates instead of attending OTAs, but Arians said he might err on the side of caution.

“I don’t know how much I’ll let him do … with guys chasing him around,” Arians said. “We’ll see. We’ll see what the doctors say. He may be doing a lot of coaching.”

Arians was not present last week when Brady took him up on his offer to throw to teammates at the team facility outside of OTAs on Friday, with no coaches present. That was after Brady and teammates practiced last Monday at the Yankees’ practice facility in Tampa. Arians wanted Brady and his teammates at the team facility to ensure they would be protected should a player suffer an injury.

“Evidently it was a real good workout,” Arians said. “I wasn’t here, but from everything I heard, it was a real good workout. He’s not in town right now, but I would hope some of those guys that have been with him would come in here tomorrow. We’ll see.”

Brady said at Arians’ charity event last month that he expected to be ready for minicamp, slated for Monday through Wednesday of next week. He threw for the first time since his surgery two weeks ago, putting him ahead of schedule. But Arians has said throughout the process that he wants Brady to take his time recovering. They’ll have to balance that with Brady’s usual desire for a high number of reps.

Arians previously told starters not to attend the team’s voluntary workouts because he believes that this year’s OTAs are for rookies and players on the bottom half of the roster.

The coach reiterated his support for players practicing on their own and indicated that he understood their reasons for wanting to gain more rapport with Brady.

But it also puts a young guy like second-year wide receiver Tyler Johnson in a pickle, as he was buried on the depth chart last season and had to fight for opportunities.

“I wish he’d be over here,” Arians said of Johnson. “He’s not the dumbass — Tom’s throwing him the ball over there, so I might be with Tom too.”

Running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who was present for last week’s OTAs, was absent this week and is in a similar predicament.

“Ke’Shawn decided to work out with those guys,” Arians said. “It’s their choice, but hopefully he’ll make a better decision tomorrow.”

The coach also said rookie outside linebacker Joe Tryon, the Bucs’ draft pick at No. 32, is “real close” to passing his physical. Arians said he believes Tyron will be cleared to participate in minicamp.

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