Want to really get to know new Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians? Aside from reading all about him on PewterReport.com, there is no better way than to watch NFL Films’ documentary, Bruce Arians: A Football Life, which can be seen below in this article.

Bruce Arians: A Football Life chronicles his rise as a high school quarterback that got kicked out of his high school yet found his way to Virginia Tech, which helped launch Arians’ coaching career. Among his many coaching stops, Arians spent two years learning from Alabama legend Paul “Bear” Bryant, who became one of his mentors.

“He was the master of personnel,” Arians said of Bryant. “Coach didn’t coach X’s and O’s – he coached people. … His last words to me were, ‘Coach ‘em hard and hug ‘em later.’ To this day, that’s who I’ve tried to be.”

Arians is known for his “no risk-it, no biscuit” motto, which took hold in Arizona where he led the Cardinals to three straight winning seasons and two playoff appearances.

“You play for him and you see that he just has guts,” said former Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer. “He’ll let it rip, he’ll let it fly – no matter what.”

After waiting decades to finally get a head coach opportunity in the NFL, Arians was hired by the Cardinals to be the team’s head coach at age 60 after he spent one year in Indianapolis as the interim head coach where he went 9-3 and was named the NFL Coach of the Year while filling in for Chuck Pagano, who was diagnosed with leukemia during the season in 2012.

“I don’t have to please anybody,” Arians said upon taking the Cardinals job. “I’m going to do whatever the hell I want from here on out.”

Arians, who also won NFL Coach of the Year honors with the Cardinals during the 2015 season after leading Arizona to the playoffs with a 13-3 record, is as passionate about family as he is about football and mandates that his assistants find the right life-work balance.

New Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and former Cardinals QB Carson Palmer
New Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and former Cardinals QB Carson Palmer – Photo by: Getty Images

“When I hear about guys sleeping in their office and doing those things I wonder what the hell they’re doing there because the game ain’t that hard,” Arians said. “The work will always be there, but the kids won’t. I tell my coaches if you miss a recital – piano, dance whatever – a football game, a basketball game I’ll fire you.”

Bruce Arians: A Football Life details how important Arians’ wife Christine and their kids Jake and Kristi Anne are to him.

Arians has coached several great NFL quarterbacks, including Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck during their rookie seasons in the league, as well as Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and Arizona’s Carson Palmer. Arians, who won two Super Bowls in Pittsburgh (XL, XLIII) under Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin, is tasked with the duty of elevating Jameis Winston’s career in Tampa Bay as Winston enters his fifth-year option season with the Bucs.

“Bruce has a knack with all players but he has a special knack with quarterbacks,” said former Virginia Tech head coach Jimmy Sharpe, who coached Arians in college and is one of his mentors. “It’s like he’s the – what do you call it? – quarterback whisperer or something or other.”

“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.

The Bucs just made a fascinating hire with a proven winner in Arians, who took the year off from coaching in 2018 after retiring from Arizona following the 2017 season. For more on Tampa Bay’s new head coach, watch Bruce Arians: A Football Life by clicking the video below.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd 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 enjoys 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]


  1. Arians did not leave AZ for health reasons he left because Bidwell the owners son felt HE was the brains in Az, Bidwell felt Heeeee was better to run things than Arians and we all saw how that worked out for AZ last year!
    Good deal for Bucs I do think Jason will not be making as many decisions as he did with the 2 puppet coaches before maybe Glazzers are ready to watch Bucs in playoffs for first time since they have been in control

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  2. Licht was like Clark Griswold on Vegas Vacation when they hit the Keno game with Sid Cesar’s ticket after he died. Licht you bought yourself another life. You did about a good as you could have done. I give you props for that. Now don’t screw up free agency, what to do with the current roster and the draft. Let Arians have a lot of input!

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  3. Now that the dust is beginning to settle and it is certain we are going to get Arians and apparently some of his entourage it seems like a splash move by the Glazers although I see Licht losing a lot of his influence regarding personnel. I spent most of the morning reading Bio articles on Arians and the coaching philosophies he has developed. Culture is important. With the current players on our roster and the cap space we have IMO it will take a few years and a lot of restructuring to create a product capable of winning on Sunday. I am cautiously optimistic and more curious than elated by the hire. Other than a few articles I know nothing about this transition, only that for the last 10+ years with few exceptions and no playoffs the Buc’s have been a total disappointment. I hope by getting the band back together he plans to Win games and not just enjoy a farewell tour at Tampa’s expense. I’m not a hater and never have been and certainly hope I live to see a football team with a winning culture and playoff games to prove it. Nonetheless with this team I have at best learned to control my enthusiasm and occasionally enjoy a well played performance.

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    • I agree with you on some fronts for sure, especially if they change to strictly 3/4 on defense because we will need a massive personnel change on that side. I don’t necessarily think we are a few years away though. Getting these players to focus and getting the bad vibe will help immensely in my opinion. How many bad penalties, missed kicks, and bad coaching calls effected the outcome for this team. They were in so many winnable games this year that a real caliber coach and coordinators and really make a difference. I’m very optimistic and believe we will see change for the better. Plus, if Arians can’t get Winston to reach his potential this year, then we know for sure we will need to look at other options. I feel the same way about the offensive line. Yes we need changes for sure, but does anyone really think Warhop was benificial to the young guys learning curve? All I remember hearing is how Warhop loved his zone blocking scheme which this line was never built for. Who knows, but I certainly feel a lot better about this team this morning then I did 24 hours ago. Go bucs

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      • I bet we make the play off next year.

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  4. I just watched the documentary. Now, I get it. Now, I see where he got his reputation. The Bear Bryant connection blew my mind.

    The first time Arians gets with the Buccaneer team will be an instant culture change. It will be like turning on a light switch.
    Go Bucs!!! KICK SOME ASS!

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