After his inaugural press conference as the Bucs new head coach, Bruce Arians took the time after to answer some more question from the print media down in the workroom. Here is a transcript of the discussion with Arians.

(On having a lot in common with Joe Maddon)
“Oh yeah, Hazelton, our coaching styles, we shared a lot of philosophies. He likes sayings a little bit more than me, but we shared a couple. He’s a really good friend, Jason (Licht) introduced us about four or five years ago.”

(On how hard this coaching job will be)
“I don’t think very hard at all. I think there’s an excellent base of talent here, I don’t think talent will be an issue when you take the field. It’s just situational football, Jason and I will get to work right away on evaluating the roster, we’ll get the coaches in here and evaluate the roster, what can we do to improve the roster at every position, and get it out on the field and start practicing. I really can’t wait. The coaching staff should all get here next week, we’ll get acclimated. I’ll tell the players in the first meeting, talent will not be an issue. I don’t need to speak to you to make you a winner, you decide if you want to win or not, your accountable for every decision that you make, it has to be on and off the field, there’s one cause and that’s to win a ring.”

Photo by: PewterReport.com

(On what’s the first thing he’ll do with his coaching staff when they get down here and start looking at players)
“We’ll look at everybody on this team, the practice squad. We probably know most of the guys, just haven’t been in the draft with them. I always say “don’t tell me what a player can’t do, tell me what a player can do.” Let’s build around what they can do, and try to work around what they can’t.”

(On what he learned from Bear Bryant that he can still apply to today)
“The last words he said to me when I left to be a head coach at Temple was ‘coach them hard, hug them later.’ I kind of live by that motto. When I coach them hard sometimes it’s real ugly, but when you’re on a guy and you find him in the locker room and you tell them, you’re talking about your football, your football stats, you’re a hell of a guy, don’t take a personal, it’s coaching, not criticism. Once they realize that, then you can build trust in them and start building on.”

(On if he thinks his honesty helps connect with players)
“Yeah, I don’t think there’s any doubt. My door is always open, you just might not like the answer you’re going to get. Come in and ask about playing time, anything, I don’t do the contractual stuff, but I’m going to give you what I think, I’m not going to sugarcoat it, so don’t come in there and be ready for the right answer.”

(On if he could of done all of this without his wife)
“No, not even close. We’ve been together 50 years, married 47, and she’s a lawyer, I made her take five bar exams, that was enough. Then she became a volunteer for CASA, I don’t know if you’re aware of what CASA is, and I watched her save these kids one at a time. So when we got the platform in Arizona, we started the Arians Family,Foundation, and we’re going to start that here real soon. She’s already talking to the Hillsborough people, I think they’re trying to get some items here, and we’ll have our fundraiser here and try to help the children here in Hillsborough county, and all of the other part.”

(On how his wife puts up with him)
“That’s a real good question. How do you stay married 47 years? We were probably apart for 20 of them. I would get fired, move to another job, she would raise the kids and come six months, then just start all over again.”

(On what it means to him to have a tough team to play against)
“When they walk off the field they know they were in a battle. When we were at Temple we didn’t win a lot of games, but the teams that we played lost that next week. We beat the crap out of them, and it’s just always move on because we were a smart team, a fast team, and a physical team.

(On if he’s seen or been a part of a team that has as many weapons as the Bucs have at WR and TE)
“It’s an excellent group, and I think we got a couple of running backs now, so, to me, this is probably the best walking into group. I walked into a pretty good group with Plaxico Burress and Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El in Pittsburgh with Heath Miller, but yeah, to have those two tight ends (O.J. Howard and Cam Brate) and those three or four wide receivers, they’re like toys, they’re fun to play with.

(On if he’s spoken to Jameis Winston since getting the job)
“Yeah we talked, we’re both really excited. I look forward to catching up with him real soon.)

(On the type of relationships that he has with his QB)
“I probably got fired for one of them because we were too close. They become my sons, I’m very interested in what they’re doing off the field, on the field, there has to be a level of trust between a head coach and a play caller and a quarterback. You have to tell me what you really saw, and don’t worry about the answer, just give me the truth and then we can go. I think that goes with every position, but especially quarterback.”

(On what kind of technology or products that he’s used in other stops will he bring here)
“I’m more into sports science now, what we’re doing with sports science is amazing, guys playing at 35 and 40 at high level still. The technology is the technology, you don’t have to be in the office past 10 unless you don’t want to go home because what used to six or seven hours breaking video down, film, you pop it up and there it is. There’s the red zone, how long do you have to stay in the office for? I’m really fascinated to see what we’re doing on the field judging heart rates, everything else that goes into the player on the practice field so we’re not overworking or not working them enough. We had great success in Arizona with that.”

(On how does he balance the fine line for a QB with a risk it guy like Jameis Winston with being aggressive vs. turning the ball over)
“Well, no risk it no biscuit. It’s being smart, not scared, play smart, don’t be scared.”

(On if he can live with a QB throwing an interception)

Photo by: PewterReport.com

“One. You’re not going to want him throwing three, you got to protect the football. I think Clyde Christensen and Byron Leftwich will do a great job with him fundamentally, and mentally. I think he’s going to get extremely well coached, I don’t ever want him throwing that football with worrying about it getting intercepted.”

(On what his early assessment of the offensive line is and how he plans to keep Jameis Winston standing upright)
“Well the big thing is know your protections, know your hots and sights. I think every quarterback starts with protection, not the route or the coverage, they can always bring one more than they need to block. I think offensive line looking outside in is an area that we need to work on, some guys have talent that needs to get better and get more consistent. That’s one of the things I’m really looking forward to in the next two or three weeks, honing in on each guy, what he does well, what he doesn’t, and seeing what we can do to improve.”

(On if you can succeed in this league if you’re not good in the trenches)
“No, you have to have a quarterback, you can’t win without a quarterback. I don’t care how good your defense is, how well you the run the ball, you’ll get your ass beat in the playoffs to a good quarterback. So, you have to have a quarterback, but then you have to have two good lines of scrimmage. When you have two really good lines of scrimmage, you have a chance.”

(On how he can use his experience and skills to make Jameis Winston as good as he can be)
“I think build that relationship of trust on and off the field, just like we did with Andrew Luck when he came in, with Ben (Roethlisberger) with Peyton (Manning). It’s just building trust, there’s unbelievable knowledge of what you’re doing, when the ball comes out of your hand, there’s a reason for it, not ‘I thought he was open’ no, there’s a reason when the ball came out of your hand.”

(On if there’s a way he handles a situation where a player maybe took a couple of plays off)
“Yeah, I’ll show it up on the film and ask him what he’s doing in front of the team. I don’t have a problem with it. If you can’t play hard, you can’t play here, that’s just not acceptable. We’ll have an accountability sheet I call it, every mental error, every penalty in practice, that’s how we’ll start everyday with the accountability sheet. If you’re up there too much, you’re either too dumb to play here or you don’t give a s***. So you can’t be a Buc.”

(On if players like Lavonte David, Gerald McCoy and Jason Pierre-Paul make transitions into another defensive scheme)
“Oh there’s no doubt. It’s just schematics, 3-4, 4-3, everybody lines up the same if you’re a gap scheme, gap control defense. We tried to get Jason Pierre-Paul really really hard in Arizona, we had Chandler Jones, he’s led the team in sacks over the last three years, so, yeah, he fits extremely well because he rushes the passer. 70 percent of the game is nickel, if you’re a good football player, we’ll find a spot for you.”

(On Lavonte David)
“I think he’ll be a great inside linebacker, our staff backer, basically the same thing he’s played.”

(On when did he know he wanted to do this again)
“That was early in the season, I was pushing Chuck Pagano and I dumbly said ‘yeah I’ll come up and help out.” But it was probably week eight, I was in the middle of broadcasting, I was going to practice and watching each team doing. I almost stepped out onto the field in Houston and started correcting Tyron Mathieu, I was like ‘Whoops, that’s not my team.’ That started the fire again.”

(On what is it about players likeTyrann Mathieu or Jameis Winston that are reclamation projects or people that need forgiveness that he likes about them)
“I needed it when I was young, but everything here was starting to translate from here on out. I got to know Tyrann from when the draft was coming around, he never blamed anything or anybody else but himself, so I knew he had a chance. One of my favorite guys that has overcome it.”

(On what went wrong in the last couple of years in Arizona)
“You never blame injuries. We went 8-8 with our third string quarterback and our third string line, and we still went 8-8, so I’m very proud of that. I was pissed because we had a really good team, but we had 15 guys on IR, but you still go out win. Blaine Gabbert did a great job winning a couple of ball games, Drew Stanton beat Seattle in Seattle when they made it there for the playoffs. Sometimes records don’t show it, as good as everyone wanted the team to be, but continued to played their ass off. Probably the best coaching job our coaching staff ever did, to beat Seattle up there, with the guys that were playing up front and Drew Stanton.

(On if he’s disappointed in what happened to Steve Wilks)

Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

“I don’t want to see anybody get fired. I’ve been fired nine or 10 times, that’s why I return every single text, every single email that I get. Last week it’s already been over 300, it’s guys that are looking for a job, because that was me 10 times. I’m not going to not answer that, I’ll tell them the truth that it’s probably not going to happen, but thanks for the interest.”

(On the saying that “If you have two quarterbacks, you have none,” and if that was the Bucs problem)
“That’s my philosophy, I think sometimes they were both looking over their shoulder. One would do well for one week then struggle, so let’s put the other one back in. That’s not me, we got a guy, he’s our guy, hopefully we can get that room extremely competitive behind Jameis so that we can win with him or someone else.”

(On what he thinks of the Bucs uniforms)
“I love them, I’m getting used to Pewter and I’m kind of digging it. It’s hard to find hats that way, but we’re going to get them.”

(On if he scouts QB’s every year)
“Every year, even though if we didn’t need one, I just like ranking them and watching them being successful.”

(On how necessary it is to have a balance with the run and the pass)
“Balance is key. At the end of the season, you’d like to have 50-50, run-pass. Now some games you’re winning in the fourth quarter, so you run the ball a little bit, and some games you’re losing and you’re throwing it all the time, but by the end you’d like to stay balanced. Throughout the first three quarters of the game, stay balanced, and then the fourth quarter, whatever it takes to win.”

(On how much of his Kangol hat is a part of him and is he surprised that the hat has become a staple of him)
“I always wore a hat as a kid in the city, growing up I always wore a hat. But, the hat now, we’ll have one with the logo to sell, and it will be for our foundation. Every hat sold goes to our foundation. I’ll do anything to raise money for kids, and if that means wear a hat all the time, it’s still got some swag to it.”

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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]

14 COMMENTS

  1. I’m so glad, I’m so happy. This has to be the one, has to be the one…………

    Go Bucs!!!

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  2. Well we got the tools on offense, the O line needs tweaking, R.B.’s need upgrade. The real problem is one of the worst defenses in the league. Bowles has his work cut out for him. Can we win with the same players we’ve been losing with the past few years? Kwon, David, McCoy, this year JPP couldn’t deliver one more win, or elevate our ranking much. Should they stay, or should they go? Big money invested in three of them, and Kwon wanting to get paid coming off an ACL. He’ll miss all the OTA’s, and probably training camp, do you throw a big contract at that? Some big decisions to be made, glad there’s new sets of eyes looking over this roster.

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    • Whatever Arians decides to do with the roster, I will fully support him. I trust that he will get the right guys on the team.

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    • I think Bowles would be exited to work with JPP, McCoy, Lavone David, Nassib, and Vea. If Curry is around still that would be more than enough for Bowles. The Bucs are not that far off defensively. Bucs need a veteran DB for sure and maybe a veteran LB added to the mix.

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  3. In terms of talent this has been a .500 ball club the last few years. Koetter did squeeze out a 1 or 2 extra out of the Bucs as a first year HC but since then he has been -3/4 in terms of win totals per year based on talent alone.

    What Arians is saying is fundamentally correct. At a base level the Bucs have an average talent base with some few bright spots. But that is good enough for the NFL to be a .500 ball club.

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  4. And an accountability sheet is so simple but will work brilliantly to track those that are not mentally focused on playing football fundamentals.

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  5. Couldn’t have done better than this situation. This has the vibe we had when Gruden got here. We thought great things would happen and they did. It can happen again.

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  6. JPP will be back. He may be the most “B.A.” type player in the league. JPP is going to love finally having a coach that has his back when it comes to player accountability. The calvary has arrived Jason. No more going to war alone.

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  7. Imagine Lavonte and JPP in Bowles downhill scheme? If McCoy is around then things become interesting!

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    Rating: +9. From 9 votes.
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  8. McCoys been around nine years, never has, and expecting him now at his age to make a difference is foolish. Add to the fact he’s due 13 million doesn’t seem worth it. David has been part of the losing for quite some time now also, and carries a hefty price tag. Is JPP worth 14 million next year, is Kwon worth a big raise? When a new regime comes in most times they bring some of their old players with them. What L.B.’s, D.L. are going to be F.A.’s with the Jets, and Cards? There could be cheaper, younger, and just better options who know the new coaches, and who they know, that might be coming to Tampa. McCoy, David, Kwon, aren’t BA, and Bowle’s guys. BA didn’t exactly give McCoy a glowing endorsement at his presser. Don’t be surprised if they have guys they know better come in.

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    • When he was asked about McCoy specifically, BA said McCoy was always a guy they had to prepare for but he wouldn’t commit to his future since he hasnt reviewed the tape of last season. Not a ringing endorsement.

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  9. Like BA already! Accountability seems to be an important concept to him. The Bucs need this discipline and accountability! “If u show up too much on the accountability sheet ur either too dumb to play here or u don’t give a shit!” This is what I’ve been wanting to hear from the Buc Coach! BA actually seems excited about the opportunity as opposed to Koetter who just appeared to want someone to put him out of his misery and fire him! It’s a good day in Tampa Bay! Can’t wait to see how the talent evals go! Go Bucs!

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  10. I love this guy. Lot what he’s sating I agree with 100 %. Running the ball, both lines have to good, and you have to have a QB. That’s why Ravens got whipped in playoffs.

    Been saying all year this team is close. Couple tweaks to O line. Maybe another RB but I’m not convinced RJ is a bust. Our O line and coaches sucked. We need some secondary talent added but Licht fixed the D line last year.

    Bowles has to be looking at this roster and especially front 7 saying he’ll yes we can frigging win now!

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  11. For the record, I want to say great hire, Glazers. The thing I find comical, is that Arians drank the Kool-Aid, thinking this team is close. There are only 5 NFL caliber starters on both sides of the ball, and I’m not including Shameus. The rest are garbage, along with him. That no talent hack Licht needs to be run out of here, as well. I give Arians 3 weeks into the regular season next year, before he starts scratching his head, thinking “WTH did I get myself into??” I think he can fix it though, and I hope he sticks around long enough to do so, but this whole thing needs to be gutted and rebuilt. He’s going to figure that out soon enough. If they had payed the Saints in week 6 instead of catching them week 1, they would have been 4-12. THAT….is what he inherited. Couple of building blocks, and hit the reset button.

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