FAB 3. SR’s Takeaways From Arians’ Presser

New Bucs head coach Bruce Arians certainly won the press conference, didn’t he? But then again, Greg Schiano, Lovie Smith and Dirk Koetter said all the right things at their introductory press conferences, too. Tampa Bay fans are getting tired of seeing a guy win the press conference every two or three years. The fans – and the Glazers – want to see the new head coach win some games.

But having sat in the interview and then for an additional 15-minute session with Arians and the Bucs’ beat reporters, what Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht said was true. Arians has swagger, he has a proven track record, he commands the room and he has the “it” factor. I would be really surprised if the Bucs don’t make the playoffs in 2019 because that is all Arians is thinking about.

“I think we have the core here to win quickly,” Arians said. “I’m not about building – I’m about reloading.”

When asked about how hard he thinks this turnaround will be, Arians didn’t bat an eye.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“I don’t think very hard at all,” Arians said. “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. You’re 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.”

The Big Takeaway
Here are some of the notes I took from Arians’ press conference and the Q&A session with reporters in the media workroom at the team’s AdventHealth Training Center.

• Arians is a big believer in accountability, and I think that is something that is sorely needed at One Buccaneer Place. I don’t think that former head coach Dirk Koetter and his assistants went far enough in this area and it showed with back-to-back 5-11 seasons.

Arians demands that players play hard every down and plans on holding them accountable. When asked how he handles players that don’t play hard, Arians gave a classic answer that was music to my ears.

“Yeah, I’ll show it up on the film and ask him what he was doing in front of the team,” Arians said. “I don’t have a problem with that. If you can’t play hard, you can’t play here. That’s just unacceptable. We’ll have an accountability sheet I call it. Every mental error, every penalty in practice – that’s how we start every day with the accountability sheet. Now if you’re up there too much you’re either too dumb to play here or you don’t give a shit. So you can’t be a Buc.”

The first player I thought of when I heard this was left tackle Donovan Smith, who is prone to having a few lazy plays that sometimes turn out to be very costly. Arians and offensive line coach Harold Goodwin will either push Smith towards greatness or push him out of Tampa Bay.

• Arians is an outside-the-box thinker, and I love it. His concept of having an extra large-sized coaching staff so that he can have two practices going on simultaneously – one for veterans and one for young players – is genius.

“In spring when you guys come out to OTAs (organized team activities), you’ll see two practices going on because we’ll have a staff that can take all our young players and get those 40-45 reps that the veterans are getting,” Arians said. “You can’t find a diamond in the rough if he’s standing on the sideline watching. We don’t know if a rookie can really learn if he only gets three reps. We’re going to have those guys and we love young players. I love veteran players. This is a great group.”

Bucs GM Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians
Bucs GM Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The first person I thought of when I heard this was running back Ronald Jones II, one of the team’s second-round picks last year. We’ll find out in 2019 if Jones can play in this league or if he’s a bust because Arians is going to try to rapidly develop him.

“It’s a unique concept that we did in Arizona – that he brought to Arizona,” Licht said. “He’s exactly right. In order to develop players you have to give them more than six or seven reps, so the two-practice concept is outstanding. It’s music to my ears.”

• Word has it that after watching film, new Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is really high on two defenders that have really underperformed in Tampa Bay – free safety Justin Evans and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III. Evans had a solid rookie season, tying the team lead with three interceptions after being drafted in the second round in 2017, but played way too tentatively last year. Hargreaves, the Bucs’ first overall pick, has only played in 10 games over the past two years due to season-ending injuries. It will be interesting to see if Bowles and the Bucs’ new assistant coaches can get those players to play up to their vast potential.

• I asked Arians in his press conference about turning over the play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. Arians has always called the plays when he was a head coach or an offensive coordinator, so he has to have supreme confidence in Leftwich’s ability as a coach.

“I’ve been training guys for this job,” Arians said. “I always said I would never give it up and look over anybody’s shoulder until I found one I knew could do it. Harold Goodwin did it for me for a little while, but Byron [Leftwich] I think is rising star in this business. What he did with the interim title out there [in Arizona in 2018] – it wasn’t even his offense, it was Mike McCoy’s offense – and he did a heck of a job with some rookies. He’s more than ready. I think this coaching staff is going to be outstanding.”

I love the fact that Arians has an eye for talent when it comes to assistant coaches. Bowles has already been a head coach in New York, and another Arians’ protégé, Freddie Kitchens, is the new head coach in Cleveland. There will be some future head coaches on his Bucs staff, too, and his belief in developing coaches is akin to that of Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden when they were in Tampa Bay.

“I’ve always felt it’s my job as a coach to get the next group of great coaches ready. Coordinators pushing to be head coaches have the next man – James Bettcher was ready to take Todd’s place – and push those guys out into the public and have the next people ready, then have the next guys ready to take their job. That’s one of the reasons we have a large staff. I feel very strongly that that’s one of my jobs.”

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and GM Jason Licht
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and GM Jason Licht – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Arians believes in three things – trust, loyalty and respect. All of the coaches that he will have on his staff are guys that he has either coached with at Temple or in the NFL, or former players that he has coached in college or in the pros. He believes that experience matters in the NFL, and everybody on his staff will be rowing in the same direction. Arians said all it takes is one rogue assistant to screw things up, which is why he cleaned house in Tampa Bay and brought in an entirely new coaching staff of men he can trust.

• Arians said he will be heavily involved in the draft process with Licht and that the scouts and assistants will also work closely together. He said that in his mind there really is no personnel department and coaching staff – that the coaches and scouts are one unit together. Every decision will be a Bucs decision.

That’s a great approach, and one that is needed, as there was some friction between the personnel staff and some on Koetter’s staff over the last couple of years. Don’t be surprised if some of the Bucs’ draft picks that haven’t panned out suddenly look like NFL players under Arians.

The FABulous Ending
What sticks out to me about Arians’ philosophy when it comes to coaches is that he is a big developer of coaching talent. I asked Licht about the fact that there could be a successor already on the staff for the 66-year old Arians, and nodded his head in agreement.

“That’s one of the things that is exciting about this whole process this year is that we have Todd Bowles, we have Harold Goodwin, who I interviewed and he did an excellent job,” Licht said. “We have Keith Armstrong, who has interviewed for head coaching jobs. Having that many great minds come together is really going to help Bruce and help us. He’s 66, but he even said in his interview with myself and ownership, ‘I’m 66, but I’m 66 and sexy.’

“He’s sharp as hell. He’s a great leader. He’s a great motivator. He knows how to delegate. He’s a lot of fun to be with, and winning is the No. 1 thing that he wants. He wants to put a ring on everybody’s finger in this organization. I don’t see age being an issue.”

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Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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Alldaway 2.0

Arians more in involved with the draft? Love it.

Two practices going for vets and youth? Love it.

Cutting the cancerous players from this team? Love it.

Finally a coaching staff that will develop, train and let the players play to their strengths. We are very lucky as Bucs fans.

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Buc stops here

Kareem Hunt? Sure they could sign him, but I would hesitate before I did if I was in their position. Why? Because his family is a bunch of criminals – and he is going down the same path. The Bucs are already giving Winston a third chance, how many chances does Hunt now get? What is this saying to the women who are getting attacked? Is the “Metoo” movement exempt in the NFL? Hunt’s father, also named Kareem Hunt, has been arrested at least 35 times in northeast Ohio and multiple times on charges of domestic violence. Most of the… Read more »

Ivan Figueroa

grow up

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Buc stops here

Grow up? Are you kidding me? I am presenting the other side of the story. Don’t like it, give me a thumbs down. Nothing I wrote is not the truth about the extended family – or him. Image is part of the NFL.

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Devasher

Wonderful post @bucstopshere5 the information you’ve posted is exactly what any franchise in the NFL would pay an investigator to find out. To the people who downvoted that post I’d love to hear your explanation why a background check on a player and word of caution is something you disagree with. To some knowledge is power, to others ignorance is bliss.

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cgmaster27

That’s a an good bit of research there bucstops! I didnt know he came from a family with such trouble. I hate to put the sins of the father on the sun, but hunt has also done some bad things. Do I believe the bucs should pick him up? I do if its vented and he signs a contract with a ton of offset lagnuage. Again ,it is vision thing to as to how this looks to the public, but we shall see. Again a great bit of research sir Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please… Read more »

76Buc

I believe in second chances. I’ve had them. Guys can get away from the home boys back in the hood or wherever, but it’s hard to run away from your family.
That said, it can be done.

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Buc stops here

I should not get all the credit. It was originally posted online, I believe on USA Today on research everything his family has gone through. Thank you devasher, cgmaster27. It is eye opening.

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Bucsfan1983

I like that you have McCoy in your 3-4 lineup. I think he should return on a restructured contract. He deserves to be on a Bucs playoff team. I think he along with Vea and Nassib, could be the 3 down lineman. I also like the 4 LBs you have, JPP, Kwon, David and Beckwith. I’d like to see the Honey Badger start opposite of Evans. He signed a 1 year deal with Houston last March. A reunion with BA would be great. I’m also open to the Hunt idea, I thought about it the minute he was released. And… Read more »

Bucco63

I’m on the fence with Hunt. I like Winston and believe he is a better and different man than he was, but unfortunately I don’t think the Bucs can handle the PR of including Hunt with Winston already on the roster. If Jameis didn’t have that history, I think it could be sold better as a second chance. No doubt we could use his talent. As an Oklahoma State alum I do feel I need to clarify and defend the mention of Tyreek Hill while there. OSU did the right thing and cut him immediately when this occurred. It was… Read more »

Buc76

Are you out of your mind? Obviously you know nothing about politics and business. Do you think for a minute Darcie Glazer would allow that? Did you not see her in the picture taken with Arians and the family? Yea that’s a good idea, let’s alienate all the women fans. Dude you are not a businessman. You never will be if you come up with crap like this. On video is another Ray Rice. He will never play football again. What a dumb comment. Stick to what you know. Xs and Os and nothing else Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit… Read more »

MichaelMyersIsABucsFan

Buc76 Hunt will be in the NFL again. Ray Rice was already on his downward slide. If and that’s a big If Hunt is getting the help he needs and shows it in the community he will be fine and I would like to have him in Tampa.

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Lamb Chop

I think Brent Grimes is a turd after his podcast revelations. But, to say that Licht made a mistake signing him in the first place is a bigger load of turd. I call BS on that. The way Grimes played for the Bucs in the first few years was a breath of fresh air. There wasn’t a corner since Ronde and BK that opposing QBs had to fear until Brent put the pewter and red on. He literally locked down one side of the field. You can crap on him for this past season and his comments, but to play… Read more »

EastEndBoy

Kareem Hunt – all I’ll say about your analysis is that you should not compare violence against anyone to smoking marijuana. One is, always has been and always will be both illegal and unacceptable in every corner of society….the other is now legal (to varying extents) in 33 States plus DC. On the projected DLine…that’s roughly $15 million of cap space used for back-up linemen. Yes, backups are necessary – but $15m is a lot for a team that will be seeking some cap space. Finally, I couldn’t agree more with your comments of good riddance to Jackson and Grimes… Read more »

Devasher

Kareem Hunt is an incredible talent at the RB position, and as much as anyone here can see that, so could the Chiefs who of all teams were in the midst of a playoff and potential Super Bowl run when they cut him for repeatedly punching and attacking people. To have a player of Hunt’s ability at RB would be incredible for this team and chance how the offense is played and how opposing defenses scheme against the Bucs. But the team still must do their diligence on Hunt and his character before they signed him. It wasn’t a good… Read more »

BUC-ASS-BOB

THE excuse Giants have for trading JPP was he does not work in 3 -4 defence Now Bucs have 3-4 where does that leave J P P ?

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GrayBalls

Bob, shut up already, man. Maybe read what Bowles and Arians are saying. Wait…… I realize now that I have contradicted myself. I told you to shut up AND to read. My bad, dude. Go on your little rants, I’m sure someone will be along shortly to put the straw in your Capri Sun and adjust your helmet for you. Oh, word of advice for everyone out there, DO NOT smell FUC-ASS-BOB’s finger

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Buc stops here

This is interesting – a poll was taken of NFL players of the most overrrated NFL QB. Number 1 was Kurt Cousins. He was followed by (in order): Eli Manning was the second-most overrated, while Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady, Derek Carr, Andy Dalton, Dak Prescott, Jameis Winston and Sam Bradford had multiple votes as well.

So Winston was 10th most overrated with Sam Bradford #11. They were all the QBs mentioned. Just interesting.

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Devasher

Eli Manning will go into the Hall of Fame purely due to his 2 Super Bowl runs. While you have to respect the two championships against the Patriots, Eli has been anywhere from average to below average for his entire career. I generally agree with most of the players listed as overrated except for Brady and to a lesser extent Ryan. Flacco had the one super bowl, Stafford has been on losing teams for most of his career and padded his stats, Carr peaked early and has come back to earth, Dalton is Dalton, Prescott gets a ton of help… Read more »

Lamb Chop

Tom Brady overrated? I find that a bit hard to swallow unless people think he’s a product of the system. But still, you can have a system, but if you can’t deliver then you can sink that system in a heart beat. I’m a huge Joe Montana fan, but with the number of trips to the SB that Tom has had, Tom will always be in the discussion of greatest QB to play the game for a very long time. He just needs to retire before he tarnishes his image. Learn from Brett Favre. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00… Read more »

76Buc

Yep, ever good QB is a product of his system.

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damian_thompson

I had a similar thought about Hunt & Arians but was reminded by someone that Mrs. Arians is VERY involved in charities focused on abuse and violence towards women & children. Would highly doubt signing Kareem would get her approval.

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surferdudes

I’m all for giving Hunt a second chance in Tampa. Where I would disagree is just signing him to a one year deal. He’ll be suspended maybe for half that time, so a cheap three year deal with no guaranteed money, and a clause where we can cut him if he gets in trouble again. Scott I have to disagree with you on our defensive personal fitting a 3- 4. I think David can play in it, but he’s at the end of his career, and has a high cap value. He also seems to get nicked up, and miss… Read more »

GrayBalls

“He only had one decent rookie year”…… One rookie year? What happened to his second rookie year?

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surferdudes

Defensive options: Henry Anderson RDE age 28 Jets, Sheldon Richardson RDT age 28 Jets, Deone Bucannon ILB age 27 AZ, Avery Williamson ILB age 26 Jets, Neville Hewitt ILB age 25 Jets, Jeremiah Atlaochu OLB age 28 Jets, Markus Golden OLB age 28 AZ, Brandon Copeland OLB 27 Jets, Morris Claiborne CB age 27 Jets, Buster Skrine CB age 30 Jets. I know Buc fans fall in love with their own, I don’t always get it, but you do. Expect some of these players to be suiting up for the Bucs this year, and expect some of your old lovers… Read more »

76Buc

R u n buc-ass related?

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EricNV

G McCoy is probably gone due to cap considerations. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Curry was gone. If we can get to at least $70 million under the cap, I can see a few of those players you listed being signed. A lot is going to depend upon how Hargreaves and Alexander bounce back from their season-ending injuries. I think Hargreaves showed vast improvement in the opener against NO in September, and I would expect that improvement to carry over given complete recovery. Alexander’s as tough as they come, so I’m expecting him, God-willing, to be out there in… Read more »

matador

GMC has only experienced losing. I’d offer him a two year deal that would pay as much in total as his deal for next year, with the carrot being a chance to play in the playoffs.

We don’t have a ton of experienced professionals on the roster. Those are needed as example setters in the Arians Era Of Accountability. Let GMC decide, if he wants to go elsewhere so be it.

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BucWild02

Fab 1/5: Kareem Hunt is a solid RB who deserves a second chance, but I’m not sure a party city like Tampa is a good fit. I won’t argue his production or counter system vs player by extrapolating D. Williams production in KC in Hunt/Ware’s absence. His family concerns documented above by “Buc Stops Here” are also eye opening. Fab 2: Defense is transitioning to a 3-4? But is it? It seems clear that they’re gonna be in nickle 70% of the time. That wasn’t the only commitment by BA. He said they will attack to the players strengths. Balt… Read more »

drdneast

So whar you are saying BucStopsHere is criminality is inherited and passed along in your genes and DNA just like diabetes or ALS. Scientists, all over the world. are laughing hysterically at you along with me. Look up and see what one of the biggest criminals in the history of the United States history, Jessie James’ son became when he grew up. You undoubtedly took a science class with Donnie Trump. Not only is your line of thinking moronic, it is also unAmerican. In this country, sir, you are born with a clean slate and you aren’t judged by your… Read more »

76Buc

Not DNA; environmental. PC bs.

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chetthevette

Drdneast. It’s tough being a lefty liberal these days. I’m with you all the way with your prognosis about how we are born fresh as babes in the woods. Unfortunately that is where your statement falters. Of course it matters who your parents are. Try getting a fair shake being born with dark skin. It’s a crapshoot just to get by let alone thrive. Take it from me, and I’m the whitest guy you will ever meet, I get sun burned shopping at Wal-mart. I wish Kareem all the best, but he’ll be better off somewhere other than Tampa. Just… Read more »

chefboho

So much to like about all this. Hopefully it’s more than hearsay this time. My favorites are the two practice fields for vets and rookies. I’ve also complained so many times with former regimes because they take players who are gifted at a position and then move them somewhere else. It’s drove me crazy for years stunting growth I believe. Especially when a clown like Warhop is supposedly training your rookies in new positions they never played in college. I’m extremely excited for the upcoming year. On the Kareem hunt topic, this one is a tough call for me so… Read more »

EricNV

If Hunt keeps his nose clean in Tampa, all will be forgiven. He’s too talented a RB to not seriously consider adding to this roster.

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JJ

Good riddens LOUDMOUTH Miko and you’re dumbass husband, who made a fool of himself his last days here and no doubt because of you.

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76Buc

I wonder how long she’ll hang with without the $millions coming in?

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EricNV

“Arians demands that players play hard every down and plans on holding them accountable. ”

You hear that Donovan Smith? You’re going to play hard EVERY down or face the music.

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drdneast

76Buc, than you and I agree. Criminality has nothing to do with your heredity but as you said, is much more environmental. If you grow up and around criminals, it is much more likely you will be a criminal. If you look at what Hunt obviously grew up around, it speaks volumes about his character that he didn’t follow the same path. I also agree with you about Miko. As soon as the money stops rolling in, Miko will roll out of her marriage with Grimes. She has all the characteristics of a credit card diva. I loved the video… Read more »

plopes808

Finally got to watch the Arians presser and I’m even more excited now! I haven’t been this excited since we signed DJax…hopefully this will yield better results and I think it will. Change has to come from the top and from what I’m seeing and Arians is saying, it’s coming! The Hunt issue is a sensitive one but I could get onboard with a low-risk prove it deal. We all know his stock is as low as it will probably get at the moment so if we strike, we should strike now. This will save another draft pick and give… Read more »

SaskBucs

I was more on board with bringing in Hunt before I watched his ESPN interview. I assume the one linked is from over a month ago, the first (maybe only) one he did. I really didnt think it helped him out. It seemed as though his agents gave him 4 things to say and he stuck to the script. It didn’t seem genuine or particularly honest. He is already fired at that point, why not speak honestly about that night and apologize. “It was late, I had been drinking which was stupid to begin with and this girl got my… Read more »

matador

Buc stops here post is the type of article SR should have written. Talk about tone deaf.

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