As other teams made splashy, big name signings this offseason, the Bucs went the way of signing mid-tier role players to boost up the team’s depth. Some of that was due in part to their salary cap restrictions, but it was also because their most important acquisition this offseason wasn’t a player, it was Bruce Arians and his coaching staff.

On ESPN’s weekly roundtable, their analysts discussed what was the most underrated move this offseason. While other experts chose the addition of specific players on new teams, Dan Graziano picked Arians’ move to Tampa Bay, and the impact he’ll have on the Bucs as the most underrated move.

Arians has a well documented history of turning the fortunes of a franchise, and his next task is fixing the Bucs. This team has been 5-11 over the past two years, but they feel that they have the talent for a winning team. The addition of Arians coaching staff includes Todd Bowles fixing a 27th ranked defense, Harold Goodwin and Joe Gilbert improving a struggling offensive line, and Nick Rapone getting the best out of a young safeties group.

The Bucs of course brought in Arians to be the “quarterback whisperer.” Known for taking shots down the field, he was able to improve Carson Palmer during his time on the Arizona Cardinals. Now his next project is shaping Jameis Winston in to form. Arians has said numerous times that he will put all of his players in their best situation on each play, and that includes Winston.

This was Graziano’s reasoning for selecting Arians as the most underrated move this offseason.

“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hiring Bruce Arians as coach. While the rest of the league lost its collective mind hiring young, inexperienced coordinators and position coaches in search of the next offensive genius, Tampa Bay hired a proven offensive genius. Arians should be able to get the most out of Jameis Winston, if anyone can, and the Bucs should score a ton of points.” – Dan Graziano, ESPN.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I agree that this is possibly the best move that the franchise made this off season, but I also thought the same thing when the team hired Dirk to be the head coach. I firmly believe that coaching is the biggest difference maker in the NFL (note that I said the biggest, not always the best). With Bruce you at least get a track record of having improved teams before and having won Coach of the Year honors, not once but twice. I also like that he was able to get Todd Bowles to run the defense, someone that is still young enough to try different approaches and willing to fit schemes to players unlike Mike Smith who tried to implement a system that worked close to 20 years ago with players that don’t fit the way today’s offenses work.

    I’m encouraged, but I’m still in a ‘prove it’ state until at least mid season.

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  2. I have to agree. If anyone can coach up Winston, it is Arians. The fate of this team and the front office rests on the shoulders of 3. Winston has the dreaded potential, but has not yet proven himself a consistent franchise QB. If he does not succeed under Arians, it is time to keep a few key players and go scorched Earth with front office and roster. I’m going to guess BA doesn’t stick around for that, so a coaching change may be inevitable as well.

    The crucible is here. The trial begins in a few weeks. This season will bring definitive answers to big questions. As a fan I root for the best outcome, but I am a fan no matter what. If you can’t wait for this season (no schedule excuses) then check your pulse … it’s about to get real!

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  3. I watched some of the last game that Arians coached as the Cardinals HC. They were starting a 4th string RB on the depth chart and going to toe to toe with Seattle starting 2nd stringer Drew Flippin Stanton at QB.

    One thing for sure with this coaching staff is that whether you are 1st string, 2nd string, 3rd string, street free agent, etc you are always prepared on game day.

    I also noticed how the Cardinals tweaked their game plan to play to the strengths of what they had to work with (eg 4th string RB Elijhaa Penny, Drew Stanton).

    Cardinals won the game using all phases of the team (special teams, offense, defense) and upsetting the Seahawks that desperately wanted to reach 10 wins on the season.

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  4. There you go.

    In BA we must trust.

    In BA I do trust. We have essentially the same core. We have added some reasonably reliable support players. We will have subtracted some experience along with some with less than great attitudes. We will have added youth, leadership and speed.

    Training camp will tell much. The season is the only real story. All else is educated guesses and/or pure speculation. I love the changes I have seen so far. Ever optimistic. What else is new?
    _________
    Go Bucs!!!

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  5. That’s very interesting there wasn’t a single other team interested in him . However Dan says this as a great underrated move,wonder why so many others are missing out on this???

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  6. What Coach Arians brings, that other coaches have not, is instant credibility and his own confidence. It’s refreshing.

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  7. I think most people expect BA to have a great impact on the franchise, so I don’t know that you can call it underrated. BA has a great reputation and track record, and lots of teams would have liked to have him had he not been “retired.” I’m glad we had the perfect conditions line up for us to attract him to Tampa out of retirement.

    I’m certainly not going to be pessimistic about what seems to be the best coaching hire in a while – especially when the other options for candidates were not “home-runs.” Instead, I am going to optimistically look forward to another football season and give this new staff the benefit of the doubt until the prove the don’t deserve it.

    Go Bucs!

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