“Make Or Break”

January 25th, 2019

Harsh expectation?

Is it really a make-or-break season for new Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians?

The creator, curator and overall guru of Pro Football Talk, the great Mike Florio, seems to think so.

In a recent edition of his fine weekday morning show “Pro Football Talk Live,” which intelligent football fans watch on the NBC Sports Network, Florio was leaning towards the notion that if Arians cannot take America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, to the next level, then Arians’ career will crash and burn. Florio said as much to former Bucs quarterback Chris Simms.

Mike Florio: His job will be to get the most out of Jameis Winston. He has tutored three prior No. 1 overall picks, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer. Now, Jameis Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in 2015. This is going to be it. Make or break for Bruce Arians. Can you make Jameis Winston into the guy the Buccaneers always wanted him to be?

Chris Simms: Yeah, make or break for Bruce Arians — but make or break for Jameis Winston. Hey, there are a lot of similarities between the Tampa job and the Cleveland job. I think that is why Bruce Arians liked [the Bucs] and hey, he had a prior relationship with the GM in Tampa, Jason Licht. So I get all of that. I guess the big thing I look at and the common [ground] between Cleveland and Tampa is that there is a quarterback in place, yes. Baker Mayfield certainly looks like he is in a better spot than Jameis Winston. But there is a quarterback there but expectations are low. We talked about that a lot. Coaches like to go where expectations are low because there is really nowhere to go but up from there.

Joe isn’t sure he would classify the job for Arians as “make or break.” If Jameis struggles in 2019, for whatever reason, that may be more on him than Arians. If anything, Jameis’ days with the Bucs hinge on him playing well, not so much on Arians’ days.

Besides, does anyone really believe Arians, 66, will coach another NFL team?

Joe found Simms’ take very interesting. Cleveland is believed to have an up-and-coming team, so long as its owner doesn’t get in the way.

Former Bucs coach Dirk Koetter often spoke about how much talent the Bucs had. Those pronouncements may have helped grease his wheels out of town. Father Dungy visited the Bucs in training camp last summer and boasted he had no doubt in his mind the Bucs had the talent to make it to the postseason.

If all these statements about talent are true, then Simms may be onto something. That Arians is walking into a golden opportunity.

46 Responses to ““Make Or Break””

  1. Loyaltotheend Says:

    Make or break for Jameis not Arians

    No excuses for Jameis going into year 5
    Plenty of weapons
    Has lots of experience
    Has the support of a head coach
    Has a competent defensive coordinator

    No excuses for an underachieving former #1 pick

  2. The Buc Realist Says:

    Damn right its going to be make or break!!!!!!!!!!! All the talk of rainbows and unicorns farting confetti is over!!!!! Churn the roster and make all the right decisions is the only chance for this team!!!!!!!!! And the “real” fans don’t want this current regime picking the next supposed franchise QB!!!!!!!! The Bucs will have to find another with a track record that is capable of doing that task!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The 2019 season will reveal answers to the sheep that the “real” fans already know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Onetrickpony Says:

    Running out of time and excuses

  4. Robert Says:

    Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer

    have ANY of these 3 displayed the type of stupidity, selfishness, let alone
    c r i m i n a l behavior as jameis, aka crabman?

    case closed.

    good luck BA, you will need it.

  5. Pryda..sec147 Says:

    Defense lost way more games than Jameis has lost kicker too

  6. miken Says:

    makeor break for BA because he’s got at most 3 seasons

  7. 813bucboi Says:

    i agree joe…not sure its a make or break season for bruce but if he cant get winston over the hump, i doubt he wants to pin himself in a corner by being forced to pick the next QB, and win with a rookie….he’s done it before as an OC but at this age i cant see him doing it again…..

    winston has to play good consistently…..


  8. 813bucboi Says:

    Defense Rules

    you heard it from the horses mouth…..lol….dirk admitted(more than a few times) this team has talent and tony, a SB winner HC confirmed that and said we have enough to make the playoff last year…..

    why would bruce come out of retirement to coach a talent-less team?….that doesnt make sense…..

    i said it before, and i’ll say it again:….the problem was coaching/scheme not talent/players…..


  9. james west Says:

    peyton manning was accused and eventually settled with a lady for basically rubbing his nuts on her face during an interview she was having with some other player, i do not know if he was in college or the pro’s but it happened, ben was accused of rape, rape accusations came out against patricia before he came out as head coach for the lions, that happened 20 plus years ago, and what about all the other stupid stuff that has not been disclosed yet, more common then you think robert, this team can win with jameis, imho and i think we should sign hunt asap

  10. jmarkbuc Says:

    “and tony, a SB winner HC confirmed that and said we have enough to make the playoff last year…..”

    Tony was just being polite…Did you think he was going to say “The talent on this team is poor”, while he’s visiting One Buc?

    Just like prospective coaches don’t talk about job openings when there is still a coach employed.

  11. Stanglassman Says:

    Carson Palmer is a 4th #1 overall BA has tutored.

    Baker is in a better stop because he has a strong OL, run game & defense?

    I think both Cleveland and Tampa at this point have high expectations.

    The Jameis bashers were laying in wait for any chance to bring out the same ol’ thinly veiled, tired takes.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Somebody needs to throw the BS flag on Florio (and Simms too it appears). ‘Make-or-break’ kinda sorta means that there ain’t no tomorrow … you either ‘make it’ (win) OR everything is flushed down the tubes (lose). No way did Coach Arians leave a pretty good gig as a part-time TV analyst & part-time golfer to get himself into a ‘make-or-break’ proposition like Florio describes. He’s obviously a LOT smarter than that. And so are the highly-experienced coaches (like Bowles & Goodwin) who signed up with him.

    I agree with you Joe that the one who it is make-or-break for is Jameis. He’s a 5th-year QB right now working with ‘The QB Whisperer’. If Coach Arians can’t get him playing at a high level AND displaying the type of leadership teams expect from their starting QB then Jameis will be shown the door & Bucs will draft a new starting QB in 2020 (great draft projected). Win-win for the Bucs, win-win for Coach Arians … BUT Jameis end up being the one in the make-or-break situation. Personally hope that he makes it and we end up with a great starting QB for many years to come, but that depends on how Jameis responds this year IMO.

    And as far as us being such a talented team goes, that deserves another BS flag. We may have looked talented in training camp to Tony, but somehow I don’t think that Tony was anticipating tons of turnovers by Jameis & Fitz. Nor the number of injuries the Bucs sustained. Those little factors (not related to poor coaching IMO) weren’t visible in training camp. But they surely were once the REAL games started.

  13. Not there yet Says:

    So basically there are saying that if Winston hasn’t lived up to the expectations of a first overall pick that BA will pay the price? Florio is not as great as the joes think he is and it’s a useless site unless you are looking for game scores. That’s just stupid and thy always have some over the top unrealistic take on small market teams. They are no different than Steven a smith and first take

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    @813bucboi … “you heard it from the horses mouth…..lol….dirk admitted (more than a few times) this team has talent.” And what did you expect the HEAD COACH to say about HIS team at the start of the year bucboi?

    “Dear Bucs’ fans … I’m gonna do my best to get this sorry-ass group of untalented ne’er-do-wells to win some games, but I doubt we’ll make it to 5-11, that’s IF I can squeeze that many wins out of them.” Ya right.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It seems to me that with Arians having a 4 year contract and Jameis hanging out until March to see if he returns in 2019 with no extension yet…..the the “make or break” is on Jameis.

  16. Bruce Blahak Says:

    The scary part here is Arians handcuffing himself to Winston as “THE QB”. I hope they have a plan B to apply, WHEN WinSTUNNED is basically the same QB once again. People on here believe in miracles, the crab man turning into Bradshaw…will never happen.

  17. Stanglassman Says:

    Bradshaw? Really?? He had one good season and it was year 15. Not a good example unless you are just trying to undermine your own point. He did play in some great teams.

  18. DB55 Says:

    Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer

    have ANY of these 3 displayed the type of stupidity, selfishness, let alone
    c r i m i n a l behavior as jameis, aka crabman?

    case closed
    First off I like how you edited yourself and didn’t add Big Ben to the list, lol. Second, you might want to research Manning’s college years and his interactions with female trainers. Much worse than anything Winston has ever done but wtfdik

  19. 813bucboi Says:

    not bying the what else was he going to say excuse…lol….

    plenty of folks around the league have said the same thing…..the bucs have enough talent to make the playoffs…..

    so answer me this…..how can dirk go 9-7 year1 and after we add talent and depth go 5-11 back to back years?……

    answer: lack of coaching…..not talent…..


  20. Loyaltotheend Says:

    So raise your hand if you think Clyde Christensen and a first year offensive coordinator in Leftwich are gonna save Jameis?

    Arians impacted other QBs performance by directly coaching and calling plays he won’t do that here

  21. 813bucboi Says:


    when is tony not being polite?…lol….

    he was giving his honest opinion…..and others around the league have said the same thing…..

    ive heard tony say a certain team, isnt there yet, which is a polite way of saying they suck but he hasnt made a comment like that regarding the bucs…..maybe under lovie but not under dirk….

    and lovie was fired because licht felt that team was good enough to make the playoffs in 2015…..


  22. 813bucboi Says:



    improve…without a doubt….

    and thats what i think the owners and most fans want to see….improvement….

    i have more faith in clyde than mike bajakian….


  23. gilhealy Says:

    Hey Robert, how fast was that turnip truck going when you fell off?

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    @813bucboi … “so answer me this…..how can dirk go 9-7 year 1 and after we add talent and depth go 5-11 back to back years?” I was going to point you to an excellent resource for figuring that out on your own bucboi, but if you don’t have ‘go to’ sites for FACTS by now then you probably don’t really care about details like FACTS.

    In 2016 when Bucs went 9-7 IF YOU REMEMBER we won 6 of our last 8 games that season pretty much led by the BUCS DEFENSE. In that ‘streak’ these games stand out:

    o Bucs beat the Chiefs 19-17.
    o Bucs beat the Seahawks 15-5.
    o Bucs beat the Saints 16-11.
    o Bucs beat the Panthers 17-16.
    o Bucs also beat the Panthers earlier that season 17-14.

    So in those 5 games alone the Bucs offense averaged a whopping 16.8 PPG while our Bucs defense allowed an average of 12.6 PPG. Those scores bucboi are what they call FACTS. My own personal assessment of those FACTS is that if you score more points than your opponent scores you’ll win AND if you allow your opponent to score fewer points than you do you’ll also win. Oh and before I forget, who was the defensive coordinator during that streak?

    Oh ya, that’s right, Scapegoat Smitty. But we all know what a terrible coach he was, and we also know that we ALWAYS LOSE because of bad coaching (according to you at least) so I’m very confused right now. Oh that’s right, I forgot. That 9-7 season was just a ‘fluke’ I remember now. Wow bucboi, than heaven I remembered your ‘reasoning’ for why our talent is so awesome and never at fault for our losing. But somehow I have this feeling that Coach Arians & Todd Bowles don’t agree with you … they’ll gut this roster in a heartbeat IF our salary CAP $$$ situation allows.

  25. Bucsfanman Says:

    It’s make or break more for Jameis than Arians.
    I’m starting to dislike Florio more and more. What kind of BS statement is that?!

  26. 813bucboi Says:


    you said a whole lot of nothing……lol….

    no one will agree with you regarding smitty other than realist…..the 2 of you made the dirk and smitty kool aid and were trying to pass it out to everyone….

    you 2 clowns still are drinking the kool aid…..lol….

    this roster wont be gutted….additions will be made just like they were under dirk…..the difference is, the coaches we have in place now will put players in position to be successful and develop the youngster, unlike dirk and smitty……

    the players that will get cut/release are the players that didnt produce….djax, gholston, urein, benenoch, d.smith, quizz….restructure GMC and brate….sign a DE, T/G and DB FA and watch this team make the playoffs….


  27. destinjohnny Says:

    lets see if he can get 3 from the 23rd best QB in the NFL into the top 20.
    I dont think he has the skill set but I hope he proves me wrong

  28. DaPostman Says:

    If Winston plays like he did the last 6 1/2 games he has already turned the corner. 13/2 TD /int without the Hail Marys. 278 yards a game. 63% completion % that I expect to jump up a couple points.

    Fix this terrible OL and running game.

    Fix this bottom dweller defense.

    Fix this below average ST and kicking game.

    Winston is not the problem.

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    @813bucboi … “the players that will get cut/release are the players that didnt produce….djax, gholston, urein, benenoch, d.smith, quizz….restructure GMC and brate….sign a DE, T/G and DB FA and watch this team make the playoffs”

    Seems like a waste of time to me, but I’ll play your childish game anyway bucboi. I thought you said that our TALENT level was fine. Now you list DJax, Gholston, Unrein & Benenoch as “players that didn’t produce”. Wow, sounds like some limited TALENT to me. As far as ‘restructuring’ GMC & Brate goes, if their TALENT is worth it, why would you want to restructure them? (Oh wait, maybe in your world they’re NOT worth what they’re getting paid; is that it?). So are they limited TALENT too?

    Bad news BTW … Donovan & Quizz are FAs, thus not on our team right now. Hate to be the one to break this to you, but there are some other 2018 players who are also UFAs (rather than make you look it up, I’ll tell you: UFA stands for Unrestricted Free Agent … those are players with EXPIRED contracts that have completed 4 or more accrued seasons; and oh ya, they’re free to sign with ANY franchise). Besides Donovan & Quizz, Bucs have 14 OTHER UFAs (positions that we’ll have to fill). Many were starting positions & key rotational players BTW. So IF you add those 16 UFA positions to the 4 UNPRODUCTIVE players you intend to cut, you wind up with 20. Wow, list is growing isn’t it. Add GMC & Brate IF they tell ya to screw off when you ‘renegotiate’ their contracts, and voila … we now have 22 positions to fill (many of those key positions).

    But no problem bucboi, you have a solution. We’ll just tweak the roster a tad, keep our awesome TALENT and we’ll be in the playoffs this year. Oh I’m sorry bucboi, I forgot, I obviously just told you a whole lot of nothing again. My bad. Almost forgot BTW – you might want to add a RB or two to your list, and maybe a slot WR, and possibly a TE & DT if Brate & GMC walk when you ‘renegotiate’. And oh, a MLB … we NEED a MLB. BTW, it has been fun playing your silly game. You amuse me even more than Realist apparently amuses you.

  30. Bucsace Says:

    If Arians can manage to salvage Winston’s career at this point, it will be maybe his greatest coaching achievement to date, I think he can improve Winston, but to get him to the elite level and the $100 million + contract…..doubtful

  31. BucEmUp 7 Says:

    Make or break to make this a competetive team.with a winning record? Id say yes..

    Make or break playoff run? Id say no. With the officiating that we have seen week.in week out and how bad it can get even in the buggest moments, I dont see how you can expect anyone but the patriots to have a guaranteed playoff spot or bust.

    Anyone who doesnt think Bruce Arians is a huge upgrade must have slid out and off the delivery room table and cracked their head after being carried around for 9 monthes being fed liquid codeine, newports and heroine

  32. D1 Says:


    Napalmed his azzz , Damn!

  33. Westminster Says:

    When Peyton was at Tennessee a female on the training staff was checking out his calf…while she was behind him, he dropped his towel and stuck his bare ass in her face. (Just in case you were wondering). A settlement was reached out of court. That being said, give the bucs a run game and defense that aren’t below average, and we will see the bucs win.

  34. Bucs 14 Says:

    It is definitely make or break for Magoo. Four years in the league and still ranked 20th overall, which is average.

    For the Winstopologist nut lovers out there I will give ya bad coaching, bad play calling, bad defense, heck even the hand of God reaching down and annointing the other team as the winners. But, if Magoo does not become the franchise guy yall think he can be, what will you say then?

  35. Season Is Over Says:

    They will say nothing and just act like they never supported Winston. Just like the Freepologists. It is why they have such ridiculous excuses in defense of him.

  36. Ndog Says:

    I love all the Winston haters, they have been brain washed just like ESPN wanted them to be. Hey guys why do try thinking for yourselves or is that just to much work for your little bitty brains to handle?

  37. Ndog Says:

    See Buc 14 the problem with folks like you is you believe that people that support Jameis are just all about him when the reality is that we just have enough common sense to know that he is not the reason we are losing and in fact if we had any semblance of defense, running game or kicking game we would be thriving with him. I must have asked the question about 1,000 times on this website, please tell me the QB that won games we a bottom 5 defense, a bottom 5 running game and a bottom 5 kicking game? I have never gotten a answer and that is because it has never ever ever ever ever ever happened. So for people to sit around and blame a QB with those factors in play for not winning is flat idotic. Is he perfect heck no but he is the least of our problems but you honks just let ESPN and Fox and Peter King tell you he is the reason we suck and believe their crap. Those idiots know nothing about this team and frankly probably couldn’t name more 5-10 players on the roster yet they know what the problem is? No they just know what ESPN showed them and talked about his entire college career and just assume that he is why we suck. Yeah just ignore the league worst defense, just ignore 4 kickers in 3 years, just ignore our starting RB being a undrafted free agent who works his butt off but is slow and has zero shifty to him. Ignore that our RG is utter trash, our LT plays with effort about 60% of the time, that our speed WR is a little whiny bit&h, that our head coach was a complete idiot who had zero control of his team. Yeah forget all that and let’s blame the player who is in control of literally the only part of our team that is worth a crap. Makes total sense.

  38. Jonathan Lipnicki Says:

    I give Florio credit for going from a luke warm lawyer to the creator of an NFL media empire more or less. And he quotes the fellas at JBF early and often…BUT like Peter King, Pete Crisco and other media mavens…he sure doesn’t seem to like the Bucs whatsoever. In fact he appears to almost root against them.

  39. StoutGospel Says:

    Damn…some of you here, writing repeatedly again and again an writing novels….have way way too much time on your f*cking hands. I mean damn.

  40. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Tom Brady says it best in regard to the Pro Bowl:
    “…you think I play this s— to go to Pro Bowls? …We’re trying to win rings. That’s what it is here.”

    He;s been invited to the last 11 Pro Bowls and went to none of them. Think about it. The Pro Bowl is nothing special, never was.

    Bucs players need to play for the rings.

  41. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    StoutGospel, novels have paragraph and line breaks. Many people don’t get that here. Went I see a big block of text, I skip it.

  42. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    813bucboi, all season long you were saying it was not the players, it was the coaches. Now suddenly you want the players gone too? lol.


  43. Ndog Says:

    We know StoutGospel, it’s a lot easier to just have ESPN tell you want to think. Reading is hard!!!!!!!!!!

  44. Ptwalk Says:

    Come on Bonzai you know there’s always team turnover every yr. No team brings back the same team even the Superbowl champs have turnover.

  45. Negative Nancy Says:

    Can’t stand Winston as a human being, but as a player his Total QBR last year was 8th. 12 teams make the playoffs, so… how much is one person supposed to carry?

  46. RickinFtMyers Says:

    Regarding Bruce Arians and Jameis Winston, keep in mind Arians’ philosophy of designing a scheme that gives his players the best chance to succeed. To me that means should the Bucs suddenly buy, in free agency, draft or find in house a dynamite offensive line and rushing game, we may see Winston reduced to throwing a dozen or so passes per game, although that’s an unlikely scenario in today’s NFL and given the other part of Arians’ philosophy of “no risk it, no biscuit.” On the other hand, and this is more likely, given other things Arians has said, we may see a more balanced offense with Winston having to learn, under Arians’ tutelage, to better distribute the ball to his various play makers, like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Adam Humphries, O.J. Howard, and Cameron Brate, and hopefully a back with game-breaking potential as both a runner and pass catcher out of the backfield.