Ben Roethlisberger says Tom Brady is going to ‘love’ playing for Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians

Ben Roethlisberger quickly reached out to Tom Brady’s new offensive coordinator shortly after the news broke that Brady — the winningest quarterback in NFL history — was leaving the Patriots for the Buccaneers. 

Roethlisberger, the Steelers’ veteran quarterback, asked Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich — who spent several seasons as Big Ben’s backup in Pittsburgh — about how he’s going to handle coaching the “GOAT” in Tampa Bay. 

“He texted right back, ‘Just stay out of his way,'” Roethlisberger told Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Roethlisberger is also extremely familiar with Brady’s new coach, Bruce Arians, who was Big Ben’s offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh from 2007-11. With Arians’ guidance, Roethlisberger transformed from a quarterback who primarily relied on his physical prowess to one that learned to beat defenses with his mind while staying more in the pocket to make plays. Roethlisberger’s evolution as a quarterback helped the Steelers win one Super Bowl, two AFC titles and three AFC North division titles during Arians’ five seasons as Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator. 

“B.A. is a great quarterbacks coach and a great players’ coach,” Roethlisberger said. “Tom is going to love it there. Talk about going from opposite ends of the spectrum with coaches.”

While Arians is about the same age as Brady’s last head coach, Bill Belichick, those are about where the comparisons end between the two head coaches. While Belichick is a grinder, Arians prides himself on not sleeping in his office. He has a policy that requires his assistants to attend important family functions. Arians also makes it a point to have fun with his players; he hosts a postgame tailgate in the parking lot after each home game, win or lose, serving the players who laid it on the line for him just moments earlier. 

Arians is also known to have close relationships with his quarterbacks, a position he unabashedly holds in the highest regard. 

“The building of relationships, and getting to know guys, especially quarterbacks, that bond has to be so much stronger and deeper than any other bond,” Arians said in an NFL Films documentary.

Arians’ way of working with quarterbacks has certainly paid off. As Peyton Manning’s first NFL quarterbacks coach, he helped the former first overall pick develop into the one of the league’s best quarterbacks in just his second season. Over a decade later, after a successful run with Big Ben in Pittsburgh, Arians mentored another Colts’ rookie quarterback: Andrew Luck. After helping Luck and the Colts clinch a playoff berth in 2012 (Arians won Coach of the Year for his efforts), Arians earned his first NFL head coaching opportunity with the Cardinals. In Arizona, he helped Carson Palmer put together some of the best seasons of his career. In 2015, Palmer, who was 36 and coming off his second torn ACL, earned Pro Bowl honors for the first time in nearly a decade while helping lead the Cardinals to the NFC Championship Game. 

“You play for him, and you see he has guts,” Palmer said of Arians. “He’ll let it fly, no matter what. Everything else is in the league is copycat, everybody’s doing pretty much the same thing, and you see what he’s doing, it’s totally different.” 

While his coaching career has been a fruitful one (Arians has won two Coach of the Year honors and two Super Bowl rings as a Steelers assistant), Arians is hungry to win his first Super Bowl as an NFL head coach. Equally hungry to win is his new quarterback, who is hoping to get at least one more ring before hanging up his cleats for good. 

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