Quarterbacks and head coaches have always had unique relationships. Some good, some testy and some just downright disasters. The two are tied together for the most part, and both of their long-term success is usually a package deal.
The dynamics between Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston and former head coach Dirk Koetter’s relationship are still somewhat murky, but lie somewhere between great and awful.
Like an arranged marriage, Koetter didn’t choose Winston and Winston didn’t choose Koetter. Ultimately, the arrangement didn’t pan out for Koetter, who was fired last January after back-to-back 5-11 seasons. Winston survived, for at least one more season in Tampa Bay. Fast forward to April and both the new coach and the old quarterback have had nothing but positives to say about each other.
Earlier this week, speaking to the local media as a group for the first time in 2019, Winston talked about what his brief time with Arians has been like.
”He’s a football guy,’’ Winston said. “We’re not discussing many things. I got a chance to go out to his golf tournament and spend some time with just his foundation and family out there. But other than that when we’re in this building, it’s football and that’s all.”
Winston said Arians is similar to a former coach who had a major run of success with the Alabama native as his under center leader.
“Great personality,” Winston said,. “He reminds me of the coach at Texas A&M, Jimbo (Fisher). He’s going to tell it to you straight and he’s going to have a lot of things to say.”
Fisher pushed Winston hard. So hard in fact the two often butted heads in practice and even on the sideline during games. Both are alpha males with strong opinions, but the dynamic between Fisher and Winston worked.
Fisher didn’t sugarcoat things, and neither will Arians. Fisher turned his relationship with Winston into a national championship at Florida State and a Heisman Trophy for Winston, and the Bucs organization is hoping a similar relationship between Arians and Winston can turn into similar success.
“We’re just implementing a new system and it’s time to keep rolling,” Winston said. “You look at the years, our offense has been producing here and there. We’ve always been in the top 10 so now he’s just getting these weapons and he’s using them the way that he wants to use them and we’re excited. Like I said, it’s not about rebuilding. We’re about to go out there and make some noise.”