The Soft Side Of Bruce Arians

April 25th, 2019

Smooth operator.

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.

Bruce Arians can cuss with the best of them. But one reason players seem to bond with him is deep down, he cares for them.

As the Cardinals faced the final playoff drive, Pro Bowl safety Tyrann Mathieu blew out his ACL in a blowout win over Philadelphia. Just before Arians was to meet with the Arizona pen and mic club, he learned Mathieu was lost for the season.

Arians is clearly shaken and can barely get the words out as he opens his press conference.

“Injury-wise, Tyrann has a torn ACL and, uh… ” Arians’ voice cracks as he pauses, struggling for words while his eyes dart back and forth across the room as if he’s looking for a way to escape. “He’s going to miss the season.”

The next scene shows Arians walking into the trainer’s room where Matthieu and other Cardinals are getting treated. Arians tries to console Mathieu who is visibly upset as he is sitting up in a trainer’s table, not even making eye contact with anyone, just looking down.

While the scene shows Arians with Mathieu, the audio is of Arians speaking about Mathieu a bit later. “It’s personal with ‘Ty,'” Arians said of his relationship with Mathieu, his voice breaking. “We’re extremely close.

“We love and miss ‘Ty” but we’ve got to go on.”

In a team meeting, despite the grim news about their star safety, Arians praises the seven Cardinals who were just named to the Pro Bowl. Arians explains why so many Cardinals received the honor.

“When a team has success, individual things will come.”

Success also allows a head coach to rub elbows with the in-crowd. As the Cardinals warm up for their second-last regular season game hosting the Packers, Blake Shelton and his then-girlfriend (now wife) Gwen Stefani are on the sidelines. A master of swag, Arians makes his move. He walks up to Stefani, hugs her and asks, “Hey sweetheart, how ya’ doin’ babe?”

Arians then invites the music stars to party with him at his postgame tailgate. They accept. Seeing his boss put a smooth move on a pop singer with her quite large country music superstar boyfriend standing nearby impresses a Cardinals staffer who asks Arians as he walked away, “You talked to Gwen Stefani?” Arians nods his head confidently, “Oh yeah,” then boasts how the music couple will join him for drinks after the game.

Arians and his team are not so hospitable to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. After Dwight Freeney sacks Rodgers and comes off the field, Arians mobs him and hollers, “Make that f*cker never want to come back here.”

That doesn’t mean Arians is fully pleased with the play of his team. On David Johnson’s drop of a touchdown pass on the Packers-1 late in the first half, Arians scolded the rookie on the bench.

“That’s too easy of a touchdown for you not to bust your @ss,” Arians yelped. “If you are too tired, let the other guy go.”

Johnson heeded these words early in the third quarter, he took a short pass in the flat from Carson Palmer and rambled 54 yards, which made seemingly half the Packers defense miss.

The Cardinals victoriously hammer the Packers and the next week the Cardinals have a sloppy practice in preparing to face Seattle. It was a practice Arians said was the worst in 10 weeks. That bad practice carried over to the game and with a bye already clinched, the Cardinals are sleepwalking and Seattle makes them pay with a lopsided loss to close the regular season.

At home, Arians tells his wife that with nothing to play for an NFL player has a hard time being sharp (which may explain why the Bucs are so horrible in December). Arians tells his wife the “real season,” the playoffs, now begin.

As he toasts a cocktail with his wife, Arians said, “3-0 can change our life forever.”

3 Responses to “The Soft Side Of Bruce Arians”

  1. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    I think imma vomit

  2. 813bucboi Says:

    BA will get the job done….


  3. Pickgrin Says:

    “3-0 can change our life forever.”

    No Buccaneer player or coach has been able to contemplate nor even dream of that possibility for more than 11 years….

    Most seasons during that span – even the hope of getting that chance was squashed before Halloween.

    You’ve got a LOT of work to do BA.