Bruce Arians: “There’s No Separation Between Coaches And Players”

February 20th, 2019

Bucs lovers know well that a losing mentality has plagued their favorite team for far too long.

The current dream is that new head coach Bucco Bruce Arians simply will not tolerate that any longer. Why? Because it clashes with every fiber of his being.

Remember what Arians told Joe about habitual loafers. It was an instant freakin’ classic.

Recently on The Pat McAfee Show, Arians offered a peek into his winning mentality. The show is named for the former Colts Pro Bowl punter who played for Arians during his heroic season in Indianapolis while taking over for cancer-stricken head coach Chuck Pagano.

“You are the only coach that I ever played for that I truly felt wanted to win just as bad as the players. You were competitive, everything about you,” McAfee told Arians.

Arians had a quick and matter-of-fact reply. “There’s no separation between coaches and players,” Arians replied. “It’s all one, one team one cause.”

Other ex-Arians players have said it feels like Arians is right there in the grind and the fight with players, and his assistant coaches feed off that leadership.

At the Pro Bowl last month, Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson told Joe that Arians relies heavily on his locker room leaders to deliver a win-at-all-costs attitude, which was a key during their successful run in Arizona.

Man, Joe sure hopes the Bucs have the players to deliver that for Arians in Tampa, especially if the head coach deems it necessary. It’s been years since the Bucs played like they’ve had healthy population of those kinds of players.

46 Responses to “Bruce Arians: “There’s No Separation Between Coaches And Players””

  1. BucsFIRE Says:

    GREAT stuff!
    Damn…. can the season start tomorrow?
    So fricking ready for the new regime.

  2. JimmyJack Says:

    What P.Peterson said was interesting. I’d assume Bruce needs a leader for each room …..QB room, OL DL room, LB room ect.

    Looking at our team I can’t say I see a clear cut leader for our DB room or the OL room or RB. Kwon is our leader for our LB but he might not be back………..Those 4 position groups may be main areas this team is going to focus on upgrading through free agency.

  3. Destinjohnny Says:

    Got all that from bear Bryant

  4. 813bucboi Says:


    i agree….

    and to be honest, i think we only have 1 player on the team that everyone from practice squad to all pro starters respect and thats JPP…..

    mike evans would get my vote for offense because i love his passion and you can tell he wants it bad….

    others like LVD have all the tools but seem to be just going thru the motions….hopefully BA can light a fire under the entire and motivate them to be great not good….


  5. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    I remember JW saying at the end of one season that the players wanted to win more than the coaches.

    Hope BA’s attitude catches fire.

  6. JimmyJack Says:

    This makes me wonder about our DL group. McCoy has been the face of our franchise but JPP might be the true leader of that unit.

    Both have completely different mindsets and you wonder if that is a good thing. I would argue that we are better off with a single unheralded leader in that room. One consistent message.

    I would argue that this defense would be better overall if we dump McCoy and use that money to bring in a leader for our DB unit. It would improve the leadership on both units. It would give our defense a more solidifided direction with one common goal.

    I do think Gerald is a good player and he would be a great piece if he could be a role player. But that will never happen in Tampa. New DL come in and they know he been the main man of our lockerroom for almost a decade. Young guys come in and he is the veteren they look up to….basically by default.

    If I’m Bruce I’m moving on from GMC. It will be a big move but will be necessary to create a new culture here. This is not about getting rid of good players. This is about doing what’s necessary to install a winning mindset into the Buccaneers.

    Gerald will always be seen as the face of this defense as long as he is here. It’s unavoidable. The defense needs a new face, new attitude & new direction. None of this is about Gerald’s raw abilities. He has to go.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You’d be surprised how many potential leaders are on the roster with the right kind of motivation & coaching…..
    Even players like Jordan Whitehead can lead….
    I suspect there will be several brought in that have already proven themselves.

    It starts with the coaches……

  8. JimmyJack Says:

    813…..Obvisously from my post above I disagree. Gerald gets instant respect when new players walk though the door…..especially from rookies.

    That’s just the natural order. That’s what perrinal probowls get ya.

  9. miken Says:

    I know everyone makes fun of the Commish justin for saying things like resigning Mike Smith after year one was the biggest offseason move we could have made ect ect …. But getting BA and his staff IS the biggest and best offseason signing we have had or could have had. This is huge and we will see a big difference in 2019.

  10. TOM Says:

    GMC isn’t a bad player, he just isn’t worth 13mil at his age. especially with the Bucs in cap hell.

  11. AfrikaThaRapper Says:

    Breath of fresh air. So excited about the new regime in Tampa Bay. Wish that the season was here already. We’re about to whip somebody’s ass…..go Bucs.

  12. Howard Cosell Says:

    It will be no different with BA.
    Coaches and players win before and after their buc careers but not during.
    glazers make sure of this.

    Really sad you guys getting excited over the latest bandaid.
    See you in early November for draft and house cleaning talk

  13. Bruce Blahak Says:

    That means getting rid of the “fake leaders” like the soft ice cream man and WinSTUNNED. Hopefully Arians becomes aware of this early on so this team can move on to WINNING!

  14. JimmyJack Says:

    Howard…….Last year during the last game of the season I saw three of our defenders not know their assignments and all three ran into each other in the enzone which left a entire half of the endzone uncovered.

    It is really sad to see you blame the Glazers for that.

    And while you are at it please feel free to tell me which Bucs choach had success after his Bucs tenure. There seems to be a big ole hole in your point.

  15. JimmyJack Says:

    48 games in the same defense and we got players on the field who don’t even know what their job was.

    That play to me summarized a Dirk coached team.

    This is why many of us wanted Dirk fired after year 2.

  16. Issaic haggins Says:

    Except coach relationships !! I don’t think if Arians was still retired and was asked to field the best coaching staff he could field it would be the same as the staff he has put together, just doesn’t add up ? For the most part Aarons talks the talk and walks the walk but not with his coaching staff and there’s plenty of history in Tampa Bay to show that a close GM and coach is not normally a favorable recipe .

    Let’s also be real here Licht and airy and support talking about this position in November so let’s just be real about this .

  17. tmaxcon Says:

    good luck changing the losing culture in tampa mr arians…. many of younger healthier men have tried and failed…. would have loved to have arians a decade ago but bucs are ALWAYS a day late and 100 dollars short…

  18. Issaic haggins Says:

    Do you know Bill Parcells signed a few former players fat were absolute team leaders and winners but I believe other than that he let Talent dictate coaches and players and we already see a trend of comfort versus talent and this plagues teams all over the NFL !!! By and large the minute you start signing former players that are not pro bowlers or extreme leaders is the moment you know the GM has no control . It also isn’t going to lead to very good things !! There is a check and balance between good ownership, good GM’s and coaches this is where it always goes back to the glaziers not knowing how to run an NFL team . The only saving grace is maybe Arians will be in charge of the second round picks and the integrity of the free agents !!

  19. BucsFIRE Says:

    I can tell by your tone though, tmax, that you are at least intrigued.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    Excellent last 2 paragraphs Joe. Took me back to our glory days here in Tampa. Still believe that each position group needs its own field leader like we had back then … Sapp on the DLine, Brooks for the LBs & Lynch for the Secondary, plus there were several other veteran leaders (like Hardy Nickerson early-on). That leadership hasn’t been effectively replaced on defense since they left IMO, and we’ve never performed anywhere close to the defense we were then as a consequence.

    Something similar has happened on offense since Mankins left (he provided the field leadership that’s so essential to having a kick-ass OLine). It’d be nice to draft a quality OLineman, but what we need even more is a veteran who can command the attention & respect of the other OLinemen. Right now I don’t see anyone stepping up to the plate.

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    I think Bruce is going to be the one that breaks the spell in Tampa Bay. IMO, if he can’t do it, nobody can.

  22. lewis Says:

    Bruce is the real deal and is a real coach I hope Joe gives him the same loyalty that he gave Dirt but this will be new waters for Joe giving the fact that there has not been a real head football coach since Gruden .

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    @Issaiac … “There is a check and balance between good ownership, good GM’s and coaches this is where it always goes back to the glaziers not knowing how to run an NFL team.” Bill Belicheck is listed as the HC AND the ‘de facto GM’. Check and balance? Not hardly. Seems to be working for the Patriots though. Tend to think that it’s ‘personality dependent’ as much as anything. Coaches like Belicheck … and Arians … are experienced enough to know what works & what doesn’t. For HCs like that to be effective, you can’t tie their hands. I still think that the Glazers have given BA all the authority he needs to ‘git er done’ and that Licht has been told to support him. Time will tell.

  24. tmaxcon Says:


    I am very intrigued but having been a bucfan for 40 years, i am a realist…. every year same hype, every year nutpunched by week 4 and draft talk by week 10…. reality is truly a beotch being a bucfan

  25. Jason Says:

    Just so you know know Akickinthebucnuts, you got that quote completely backwards. Just saying.

  26. BucsFIRE Says:

    Definitely hear ya, tmax, and understand your feelings well. But I am familiar enough with your posts that I detect just a litttttle less despair, regarding Arians. Hope we finally have something really good, man.

  27. 813bucboi Says:


    not sure how we disagree…lol…

    i think JPP is the unquestioned leader of the team….hell i think the entire team and folks at OBP know that…

    when its comes to GMC and LVD of course players respect them because they are good and they have longevity but as far as being a true leader, imo they just go thru the motions….over time players young and old realize that and follow their lead by going thru the motions and are content with being very good players…..not a good/great team but just good players…..

    obviously in my post above i didnt mention GMC, only LVD but both fall in the same category….

    imo, i hope we restructure GMC because of his talent….he’s not what he use to be but we’re not in position to let good players just walk out the door….it’ll be a great way to build depth and give the rookie DT(Ed Oliver) time to develop into a monster…..1 DT goes down, we throw in a 1st round pick to replace him….drop off wont be major….but if he doesnt want to re do his deal then screw him, out the door he goes….lol…

    but i think by now, players know the leader in the locker room are JPP and maybe mike evans…..

    imo the real leadership starts at the top from the HC……once the team sees that the HC is a leader of men and holds them all accountable everyone will follow suit….we never had that under dirk…..accountability didnt exist with the previous staff…..

    but it is what it is….i just hope by the end of TC we have more leaders on the field and in the locker room than we do now….


  28. tmaxcon Says:


    No one respects any man that rather play with dolls than be great. Cancer93 is a joke without a single meaningful win in his entire career…. SCOREBOARD….. players talk positive about cancer93 because facing him is a day off and almost always gurantees win. Lvd is a mentally weak overrated career loser who has mot played a complete season since schiano left the love and emotional attachments to losers is truly embarrassing and sad.

  29. Dre Says:

    Lol GMC is crap

  30. Issaic haggins Says:

    @ defense rules , well said and big bill b has it under control !! However I don’t think given the same position as Arians he would have fielded as questionable a staff nor signed Ellington !!

    I’ll take it one farther he would have also said thanks Jason but you can be team president but your not my GM !! See one thing that bellichick does first is make sure the route fits the protection potential and that is number one w him!! Protect the qb so he can throw !! He’s not hiring the Indy failure nor allowing Licht to be GM !!! Good Owners See That this is just a life line for Licht and that he is only murking the waters !!! So get someone to help Arians or Just get Licht the hell out of the way and let him talk about Nassib, his rough and tuff d line, his best offense mirage with a case of beers !!! We will talk about Hardgraves , his second round picks and free agents !!! Trust me there is a checks and balance person or two along with a very smart owner that creates a checks and balance for the Patriots that is much better than a Licht / Arians good buddy system. Andre Ellington? That’s Licht Direction ??? Really Licht s down with this o line coach ( I know coaches pick staff but really) with his number one pick qb ( ask Luck !!)and Andre Ellington !!! What did you just say ? That’s the pointe !!!

  31. Bird Says:

    He is the best hire for Jameis.
    No question.

    If Jameis can take his game to next level , then this team has enough talent and coaches (defense) to do something more then being in the nfl south outhouse

  32. Bird Says:


  33. Pickgrin Says:

    This is a big reason why the Bucs need to re-sign Kwon Alexander.

    This Defense needs Kwon’s fire and emotion and leadership to help get this losing mentality turned around.

    Then you go get the Honey Badger.

    Those 2 personnel moves alone will have a HUGE impact on helping to turn this defense into one that Bucs fans can be proud of.

    If we can get anything decent in trade for GMC this off season – I would do it. McCoy’s salary pretty well pays for both Kwon and Mathieu…

    If we can’t find a trade partner – then GMC MUST take a pay cut if he wants to stay and finish his career as a Buccaneer.

  34. Bird Says:

    Kwon wants around 10

    Mathieu wants more then 7 which he made last year. Prove it deal and he did.
    Mathieu wants 8-10

    I’m ok with Kwon. Not 10 mil plus though.
    We can’t keep paying max numbers for average play.
    Rewarding mediocrity gets you in cap hell . Which is where we are now. How many times have we payed top dollar for blah.

  35. bucs4ya Says:

    @jimmy jack
    Totally agree with your post regarding young players coming in and GMC. That’s why I cringe when I see people saying he deserves to retire a Buc and he should just restructure his deal. I totally think he needs to be gone and let JPP show the young Bucs how to practice, play and win. It’s great that he’s an amazing guy in the community but that doesn’t win games. We’ve tried for years to build the defense around him with the same results. What’s the definition of inanity again? Please move on from this guy and bring in some fresh hungry young talent.

  36. 813bucboi Says:


    yeah yeah, we know you dont like GMC….you’ll get what you want sooner than later….


  37. JimmyJack Says:

    813 We disagree because you say JPP is the unquestioned leader. McCoy is the face of our defense and very much a leader and somebody young players look up to and learn from.

    I won’t claim to know how these guys interact with each other. But I do assume that pecking orders on a football team are the same as the are in any walk of life…….experienced and successful people are going to be revered and looked up to and sought out for advice.

    When rookies come in here they are going to look at our team and they are going to want what McCoy has. They are gonna wanna probowls and big fat contracts. They are going to want face time on ESPN and endorsement deals………Whether we like it or not I’m sure plenty of players are learning from McCoy in hopes to emulate his success.

    Like I said. McCoy is a leader by default. He won’t be able to escape it either. As long as he is a Buc he is going to be one of the top dogs in the lockerroom. That’s just what happens when you play for the same city for nearly a decade and make 7 pro bowl appearances and are the guy all the announcers are talking about when ever the defense gets on the field. McCoy is our main guy. You can close your ears and shut your eyes and tell yourself it isn’t true……..but as soon as you open them you know what you will see………yours truely, with that adorable smile telling you not to make him laugh.

  38. Bucnjim Says:

    What has been worse than rewarding mediocrity is accepting it. For the last ten years the fans have been sold on average to the point where we are wanting to keep these same players. Clean house of these malcontents and bring in players with a passion to win and not just cash their checks.

  39. JimmyJack Says:

    And that is why we need to dump McCoy. We need new leadership and that will not happen with Gerald here.

    The tired argument that we can’t let him go cause he is a good player is a weak, lame argument……….

    For starters you can replace 6 sacks(trending down also) with 14M. Yes, you lose a good player but……duuuuh……you’re getting something back. Namely the 14M.

    You can buy something real special for 14M. Or you can buy three players if you want.
    This defense needs a freaking rebuild……..This is bacially a fact not opinion. 14M is a good start for the rebuild.

    Secondly and most importantly is the subject at hand. Leadership. Not even the dumbest Buccaneers fan on Earth thinks we have solid leadership.
    We need to change the mentality & the attitude of this defense. It won’t ever happen if we don’t shift the leadership roles. The only way to do that is to get rid of some of your old leaders. It’s the only way.

    So McCoy has to go. And it will be time to bring in new leadership. Prefferlaby in our DB room where we have none, unless you want to bring back Brent Miko.

    Out with the old in with the new. Good chance Kwon is gone too. He is our play caller so he is a leader too. I like Kwon but I’ll leave that decision up to Bowles.

  40. cmurda Says:

    @JimmyJack. I agree with the post regarding leaders in position rooms, but I would say that OL would likely be Jensen. Even though Marpet is by far our best O Lineman, I think Jensen has more of that leadership style. I got nothing for LB or secondary unless Kwon does stay.

  41. BucEmUp Says:

    Kwon, David, JPP, Jameis, Evans, Godwin, Humphries, Marpet, Jensen just to name a few are guys with fire and want to win.

    Not worried about this teams effort and motivation at all as long as Arians is in Tampa. Hopefully they squeeze 5 years out of him.

  42. Howard Cosell Says:

    @Jimmy Jack

    So I guess you don’t hold NFL owners accountable for the overall long term state of their franchises?
    To me every coaching regime failure is a reflection on the owners.

    Maybe you work in the local media in which case I can see why you’d be scared to hold them accountable.
    What amazes Howard is why they don’t hold themselves accountable

  43. Howard Cosell Says:

    Sad really

  44. TampaTown Says:

    Tmax: glad you finally confirmed your Reality alter ego though most of us already guessed it.
    AfrikatheRapper: My favorite line/opening song on Bucs Uncensored podcast! I laugh everytime I hear it. Needs to be the Bucs Mob new motto and t-shirt.

  45. JimmyJack Says:

    Howard your right. The Glazers are accountable for this.

    But let’s be sensible and realize there is a lot of things to blame here. Let’s not pretend like their team can never win because they are using the same formula their dad used.

  46. TOM Says:

    I feel that a trade, say McCoy & a 3rd or 4th rd pick for Petersen would be fair.