December Football

April 21st, 2019

Finding ways to win.

Joe has decided to document highlights of Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians captured when he coached Arizona during the inaugural season of “All or Nothing,” a “Hard Knocks”-like miniseries by NFL Films that follows a pro or college team throughout a season and is exclusive to Amazon Prime. Joe hopes these highlights will help Bucs fans learn what to expect from the 12th coach in franchise history. This series of posts will appear periodically until the days leading up to the draft later this month.

December football in these parts is losing football. But for Bruce Arians and his 2015 Cardinals, it was winning December football that propelled them to the playoffs.

In an episode of “All or Nothing,” the “Hard Knocks”-like, NFL Films-produced miniseries which chronicles the 2015 season of the Cardinals, Arians stresses the importance of winning football in December.

(The Bucs in the post-Chucky era are a shameful 11-33 in December games and have never had a winning record in the month of December since Chucky was jettisoned. There has been a whole lot of quit in the Bucs in December with players’ minds on Christmas shopping and after-season tropical getaways.)

“December football. Last year we were 9-2 the same day. 9-2,” Arians begins with his players right after a practice as the Cardinals embark on their December stretch run. “We didn’t win enough games [last year]. One of the problems is your body starts to get beat up. That can’t be an excuse. We have to be taking care of ourselves. You have to get it done so it don’t catch up with you.”

The first December game for the Cardinals is the Rams. In his pregame speech before a game at St. Louis, Arians had little to say except to continue his theme.

“December football: Focus and finish every single play,” Arians said softly. “Every minute of the game.”

Before a first-half possession, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer tells Arians, “All we need to do is run it right at them.” Arians looks right at Palmer and nods his head in agreement, telling his quarterback, “I know.” The Cardinals do just that except on the final play of the drive when David Johnson catches a short pass in traffic from Palmer for a touchdown. Arians approves.

“That’s the way to finish a motherf*cking drive, 96 yards!”

The Cardinals win easily 27-3. But Arians’ biggest thrill? With Cardinals president Michael Bidwill on the sidelines dressed to the nines as if he’s returning to the courtroom where he was a federal prosecutor before taking over the family business, Larry Fitzgerald dumps a bucket of water on Bidwill to celebrate the win. Arians roars and doubles over laughing.

Quick turnaround for Arians. The Cardinals next host the Vikings on Thursday Night Football. In a presser after practice prior to playing the Vikings, Arians was asked about Thursday night football games. He basically said it’s a necessary evil.

“I’m tired of b!tching about them because they aren’t going away.”

But Arians barked later. With a chance to put away the Vikings with a first down on the Vikings-2, the Cardinals got stuffed on first down, Palmer got sacked on second down (“Are you f*cking kidding me?”) and a third down pass fell incomplete.

Arians gave hisoffense have a tongue-lashing.

“That’s f*cking bullsh!t!” Arians hollered at no one in particular, swinging a fist in the air. “I’m going to tear their @ss up!”

And he does when the offense gets to the sidelines.

“You ought to be embarrassed!” Arians screams at his offense, now on the bench. “That was so f*cking pitiful! Are they doing something special or are they just kicking our @ss?”

Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin speaks up, tight end “Troy [Niklas] got cross-faced.”

Arians reacts, “So we are getting @ss kicked?” Arians prowls down the sideline and pleads with his players, “Let’s go, rise up! Get more physical!”

The Cardinals comply. With the Vikings driving on what looked to be a game-tying or winning drive trailing 23-20, Dwight Freeney tomahawk chops Teddy Bridewater forcing a fumble Calais Campbell recovers to seal the win.

As Arians comes off the field, he is met by his old boss Bill Cowher, who was working the game for CBS. The two warmly embrace and Cowher tells Arians that good teams find a way to win just like the way the Cardinals won.

Something Arians needs to change that around these parts. If anything, the Bucs find ways to lose.


18 Responses to “December Football”

  1. Dapostman Says:

    Better take care of those first 3 games in 2019 or those December games won’t matter.

  2. JabooBuc Says:

    Well it would certainly be a welcomed site to see a coach show some passion.

  3. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Rest In Peace Reggie Cobb (1968-2019)
    And my sincere condolences to your grieving
    family bredren.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “If anything, the Bucs find ways to lose. Regularly.”

    Oh Joe, you were doing soooo good … until that. JBFers are all Bucs’ fan (well, most anyways). We’re painfully aware of the history of this franchise. BA’s hiring brought with it the HOPE that this team can rise above that history. Come on Joe, it’s Easter Sunday. The Bucs’ faithful NEED to have HOPE. Isn’t that a big part of what today represents?

  5. NOSBOS Says:

    Who you telling Jaboo. H3ll I don’t recall a HC even taking a seat next to player during a game explaining anything by way of details of the game. Funny because you can play Madden and see that often. This will not resemble anything Bucs fans have ever seen from the Bucs before.. Largely because of the Kangol.

  6. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Geez, can we get thru September and October football first?

  7. I Bleed Pewter Says:

    What a let down if we lose to the 49ers, especially if it’s because of Kwon. If we lose the first home game of the only two in 2 months.

    We could be easily looking at a 1 – 6, 2 – 5 record by the bye.

  8. Sport Says:

    We have a respected coach with a plan and a huge staff that doesn’t need handholding. A whole new level of coaching and accountability is going to ripple through Buccaneer Cove with a vengeance.

    In BA I trust! Go Bucs!

  9. Buccfan37 Says:

    Good to hear the head coach use expletive deleted language to light a fire under the players asses. Imagine Koetter doing that.

  10. #1bucsfan Says:

    @scotty. That’s what I’m saying bro gotta win games before December so we can be playing for something in December lol

  11. Arian Nation Says:

    The more I see and hear about Bucco Bruce, the more I like him.

  12. Mike Evans Goat Says:

    That name isn’t slightly racist at all

  13. Arian Nation Says:

    ^^^^^^^What gave me away, was it the white face makeup or my prison tattoos?

  14. Jmarkbuc Says:

    “What a let down if we lose to the 49ers, especially if it’s because of Kwon.”

    Aint gonna happen…not because of Kwon. Just study our film of Kwon, it’ll be easy to pick out what he’s not good at..and exploit it.

  15. Dirks Great Granpappy Says:


    That seems a bit too logical don’t you think?

    Maybe it’ll be different with a new coaching staff but asking our Bucs/coaches to study, pick up tendencies and exploit said tendencies seems a like a bit much.

  16. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    Big mock draft on NFL network tonight at 8…

  17. ButtMonkey Says:

    What the hell you talking about, I Bleed Pewter? All you have to do is pass the ball to whoever he’s covering.

  18. Lunchbox Says:

    This particular picture of BA always reminds me of Spanky from the little rascals lol