While he admitted that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady struggled big-time in their 27-23 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football, ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith still trusts the veteran signal-caller to get it together and show up in crucial moments for the team. “Even at 43, with these multitudes of weapons. What I’ve seen him doing good moments this year, I believe that when it's time, he will show up. You’re gonna show me differently. Until I see it, I’m not gonna believe otherwise,” Smith said during Tuesday’s episode of ESPN’s “First Take”, as transcribed by the author from the show’s YouTube video below.

Smith not impressed with Brady’s performance vs Rams

Smith admitted that Brady was not his usual self against the Rams and has struggled with the deep ball, throwing 33 incompletions this season in passes of 20 yards or more. “We know that’s not impressive. He’s completing about 25 percent of his passes for 15 or 20 yards plus,” said Smith. The analyst added that there’s simply no excuse for this as Brady got a multitude of weapons in wide receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown and tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate. Brady completed just 26 of 48 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions, with one coming late in the game that doomed their attempt at a game-winning drive.

The Buccaneers lost despite entering the week as a 3.5-point favorite over the Rams. The loss dropped the Buccaneers to 7-4, but according to the team’s official website, they still hold the second Wild Card spot in the NFC.

Smith says Arians should have made adjustments

However, Smith reminded everybody that Brady has a veteran coach in Bruce Arians that should have told him to stop throwing these errant long passes and just throw some intermediate passes.

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Smith added that Arians should have opted to run the football as he has a talented bunch of rushers in Ronald Jones Jr. and Leonard Fournette. “Take some of that pressure off of Tom Brady,” said Smith. After rushing the ball 23 times for 192 yards and a touchdown in their 46-23 win over the Carolina Panthers, Jones was limited to just 24 yards on 10 carries while Fournette had seven carries for 17 yards.

Smith said that he was not impressed with the way Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich were running the game against the Rams. Smith also called out the defense for its failure to pressure Rams quarterback Jared Goff, who was not sacked by the Buccaneers. The offensive line, however, did a good job of containing defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who did not appear on the box score after he failed to register a single statistic against the Buccaneers, per Luke Easterling of USA Today. Smith was among several analysts who slammed Arians for his failure to adjust to the New Orleans' style of play, allowing the Saints to beat the Buccaneers for the second time this season.

Arians says Brady has no confidence issue on offense

During his Tuesday press conference, Arians maintained that Brady has no confidence issue on the team’s system on offense, per a report by Jenna Laine of ESPN. However, the veteran head coach admitted that Brady is having continuity issues within the offense, after playing 20 years with the New England Patriots under Bill Belichick’s system. “It's not lack of trust -- it's lack of continuity within the offense, of the whole picture,” said Arians.