Long known across the NFL as a "quarterback whisperer", Bruce Arians takes on another interesting challenge as the new head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A true "football guy" to his core, Arians retired as coach of the Arizona Cardinals almost exactly a year ago, yet decided he couldn't stay away from the game any longer.
In Arizona, Arians had a strong 50-32-1 record and helped turn the franchise from a perennial doormat into a staple at the top of the NFC West during his tenure. During his time there, he helped revive the once-promising career of Carson Palmer while earning himself a second AP Coach of the Year award in 2014.
Bruce Arians and Jameis Winston
A big reason Arians was brought to Tampa Bay was so that he could help to salvage the uber-talented Jameis Winston. Surprisingly, Arians and Winston actually have years of history together.
This all stems back to Winston attending (and catching the eye of) Bruce Arians' football camps in Birmingham Alabama. Arians clearly thinks very highly of Winston, even going as far to say before a game in 2016, "Jaboo was a Birmingham legend." He also added, "He would be fun to coach, there's no doubt about it. He's a winner and a great leader and obviously a heck of a young quarterback."
Now, Arians has his chance to coach the supremely talented but mistake-prone Winston. Winston was touted by scouts coming out of college as a generational talent and has certainly shown flashes that live up to the billing throughout his brief NFL career. Clearly, however, former coach Dirk Koetter's scheme did not mesh well with Winston as he was one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks in the NFL under Koetter's supervision.
Winston offers the purest talent of anyone Arians has coached since Andrew Luck in his rookie season. Should Arians find a way to consistently reign in the high-level play that Jameis has flashed, he might just have his most successful protege yet.
But how does Arians fit with everyone else?
Although Arians cut his teeth on the offensive side of the football, he has a knack for building takeaway heavy defensive units that, when healthy, perform as one of the best defensive units in the league. For the majority of his tenure in Arizona, the Cardinals boasted an elite defensive unit that regularly was top 5 in takeaways each season.
Arians inherits the services of the second-best defensive tackle in the NFL in Gerald McCoy who is surrounded by a young and athletic front seven. Arians will have his work cut out in the secondary, where the Bucs have struggled in recent years. However, Arians has a history of finding diamond in the rough secondary stars like Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu and will look to do the same in Tampa to help shore up the Buccaneers' defense.
So, is this a good hire?
No. This is a GREAT hire for Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have the talent in place to be an offensive juggernaut and Arians has a proven track record of getting his teams to find the endzone. More than that, Arians gives Tampa Bay the best shot at salvaging the career of their former #1 overall pick, Winston.Published 09 Jan 2019, 12:04 IST