Tom Brady shot down speculation about any bad blood between him and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians Thursday, saying Arians was a major factor in his decision to sign with the Bucs.
Brady told reporters following Thursday’s minicamp practice he never had any issues in his relationship with Arians despite reports to the contrary following his second season in Tampa Bay.
“Zero whatsoever. He and I have a great relationship,” Brady said. “I think that’s part of why I chose here was because of Bruce.
“He and I have been in incredible communication, and I have great respect for him. He knows how I feel about him, and that’s the most important thing. And I know how he feels about me.”
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Arians announced in March he was stepping down as head coach and would instead be taking a front-office position with the team. He dismissed rumors of a strained relationship with Brady, saying the two have a “great relationship.”
Brady also spoke about the possibility of Rob Gronkowski making a return to the team, saying the decision is “totally up to him.”
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“We’d all love to play with him, but he’s got to make the best decision for himself, and he knows that,” Brady said. “Anybody that cares about him knows that he is doing what’s right for him, which is trying to figure it out.
“We don’t have training camp for about six weeks, so whatever — he has to do to figure it out. I think we will be hopeful if he does. And if he doesn’t, we’ve still got to go out there and figure out what to do.”
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Gronkowski has yet to decide whether he will continue playing. He played the last two seasons for the Buccaneers after spending several years with the New England Patriots.