Bruce Arians: “I Don’t Overpay For That Position”

June 17th, 2019

“Hey, Ira, there are cameras on me at a news conference. What the hell are you doing standing there.?”

A challenge Joe threw at Bucco Bruce Arians elicited one of the head coach’s most interesting comments of the offseason.

Of course, many fans might have heard the exchange, if they’re among the thousands of wise men and women listening to the Ira Kaufman Podcast, where Arians appeared last week.

Arians was talking about the running back position was a pleasant surprise, talking about how much he likes the physicality of Peyton Barber, is impressed by Ronald Jones’ spring explosiveness, along with healthy Andre Ellington and “solid” Dare Ogunbowale, who also has caught Arians’ eye on special teams.

“I like our backfield. I think it’s [an] ok backfield. There’s not a David Johnson or a Todd Gurley. But you don’t need one,” Arians continued.

Joe replied. “We could buy one though, right, if we want to? If they’re on the market?”

Arians’ volume kicked up a notch. “I mean (sigh), I don’t overpay for that position. David Johnson came in as a rookie, lit it on fire. You just got to find the right guys to fit what you want to do.”

The “overpay” comment is intriguing on a couple of levels. Barber, 24, is in a contract year. If he has the season Arians and company expect, then Barber likely will be a 1,200-yard rusher with 8 touchdowns, solid hands and hitting free agency seeking around $8 million per season, roughly quadruple is current salary.

Would the Bucs pay that much? Would they dare let Barber walk after a standout season?

Second, it’s intriguing to hear Arians say, “I don’t overpay.” Is he the de facto general manager?

Joe has no idea what the Bucs’ plan is at running back for 2020 and beyond. Of course, the goal is to have Jones and Barber complement each other and thrive. In that scenario, perhaps the Bucs would have a little leverage on Barber because Jones would be a legitimate NFL running back.

Just about every day Joe asks the football gods to keep Barber healthy.

56 Responses to “Bruce Arians: “I Don’t Overpay For That Position””

  1. Lunchbox Says:

    Interesting take on the RB’s. But before 2020, lets worry about our guys having a good season THIS season. Like in your last sentence, Barber could go down in week 2, and then its on RoJo to show why he was drafted in the 2nd round. I still feel like we should’ve taken Henderson in the 3rd, but on well.

  2. James Walker Says:

    Barber = Pittman

  3. Buc1987 Says:

    I redact my 7-9.

    I’m going with 5-11.


  4. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Completely agree. Running back is the one thing you never overpay for.

  5. Youngbucs Says:

    “Overpay?” That’s 90% of the roster!

  6. Stanglassman Says:

    My thoughts went to Duke Johnson. Would Taking over his contract be considered overpaying. I thought running backs pay and draft status bottomed out about 5-7 years ago and was starting to rebound to a reasonable status. A do it all good Rb accounts for at least a third of you offensive yards takes a beating and doesn’t last long in the league. I get not over paying a Sam LB in the 4-3 but a very good all around Rb is worth 5-7 M/Y.

  7. Magadude Says:

    Same O line, same RBs…I don’t know if even going from the most horrendous coaching to greatest coaching will turn the running game into what is needed. Sure, maybe a slight improvement will make Winston more effective. I just don’t think Barber is quite as good as Mike James, which wasn’t enough. We can pin high hopes on RoJo, but RB is one of the positions that translates well from college, and he didn’t cut it last year.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    You have to love BA’s philosophy about team-building … there shouldn’t be any doubt who’s in charge. Bucs have a number of players on 1-year ‘prove-it deals’, Barber being one of them. RB is one of the easiest positions to replace, IF you’ve got a decent OLine. IF Barber has a very good year like you postulated (1200 yds & 8 TDs) and wants $8 mil to re-sign with the Bucs, it’ll be Bye-Bye-Barber.

    Personally don’t think that RoJo is a viable Peyton Barber alternative-back however, even if he does have a decent year himself. Right now I don’t think there’s any RB on the Bucs’ roster who fills that square. But we could sure draft a RB next year or find one in FA who could provide what Barber can provide: that good-sized back who can run between the tackles.

    And as far as BA being “the de facto general manager” goes, was there ever any real doubt? Jason Licht knows what side his bread is buttered on.

  9. passthebuc Says:

    I think Arians means the total payroll is on its way down

  10. Buc believer Says:

    Does he mean like Donavan Smith overpay????

  11. Stanglassman Says:

    BA has given his opinion (not overpaying for certain positions, contracts and draft selections) in AZ and when he was the OC so I guess he’s been the GM for all the teams he’s coached. I don’t doubt he has more say than Koetter but he’s still not the de facto GM. Love your takes otherwise D.R. .

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Stanglassman … Obviously none of us know exactly what goes on behind closed doors. But if you try to put yourself in the Glazers’ position late last year, it would seem likely that they were very frustrated. Losing years piling up, a HC & coaching staff that obviously was struggling to turn this ‘mess’ around, a GM whose vision of ‘team-building’ is circumspect at best, fans & media losing interest in your product … and all the while you as ‘ownership’ have mega-millions on the line. That’s kinda a prescription for ‘frustration’ IMO.

    Then into the picture rides Bruce Arians … with a plan to ‘resurrect’ this team. How he got here (via Jason Licht?) is really inconsequential, because (tada) … HE had a viable plan AND the experience & connections to pull it off. The Glazers knew they didn’t have the expertise to pull it off. They’d seen Licht in action for over 5 years by then, and most likely felt that he didn’t have the expertise to pull it off either.

    But BA does. He’s got a pretty solid resume AND he had a ready-made, very experienced coaching staff that he could bring with him to implement the plan. That to the Glazers would’ve been manna from heaven … a solution in a bottle. My ‘guess’ (and it may not be in the ballpark) is that their next question was … “OK Bruce, what do YOU need to make it happen?” And the Glazers … being good businessmen trained by Malcolm … opened the checkbook & the rest is history being written. Yup, BA is in charge.

    And that’s my ‘guess’ Stanglassman, and I’m sticking to it. Until someone comes along with a better ‘guess’ of course.

  13. Allbuccedup Says:

    BA or BS we shall see in September.

  14. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Good teams don’t over pay for average players

    This is why Licht sucks

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Barber goes is not going to have 1200 yards. He’ll be lucky to have 800 yards rushing.

    Because Arians prefers the pass.

    Fans are setting themselves upvfor disappointment.

  16. Allbuccedup Says:

    Thats real smart no running game Jameis throwing 50 times a game, can’t hardly wait.

  17. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Oh…I thought he was talking about QB….

  18. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Most coaches want control of their roster. BA is no different. Koetter often
    deferred to Licht about personel decisions. He would answer such questions by saying that is up to Jason Licht.

    IMO, one of the conditions for BA coming here would have more control of the roster. He did not inherit a very good roster. He and his staff could not function if
    Licht continues to bring in players that don’t fit in to the scheme or don’t play up to expectations. I don’t doubt that BA is in charge of flipping this roster . He sounds like he has been there done that.

    Licht’s last attempt at flipping the roster in 2014 was a disaster. BA would have had to present his plan to turn the team around to both Licht and the Glazers . My thinking is that Licht probably had to buy in to save his job.No question that change was needed especially in free acquisitions.

  19. Bob in Valrico Says:

    edit: free agency acquisitions.

  20. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    BA is just talkin to throw crap out there and the local lapdawg media will treat it as gospel. BA said the roster is set to win now as he is totally flipping it, said desean will be a buc, said he wants GMC, said rbs are an ok group; im guessing duke johnson is here and rojo is traded

  21. Allbuccedup Says:

    Hope so DR.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    Bob in Valrico … Personally I liked the ‘free acquisitions’ better. That’s about all we can afford nowadays.

  23. OneBuc55 Says:

    It’s just common sense guys, you never overy-pay for a RB; they don’t hold their value very long, and it just too much wear and and tear on the body in general playing that position…

  24. doolnutts Says:

    Buc believer — Look I think D. Smith is average at best BUT LT is one of the premier positions along with QB. There is almost no two positions in football to harder to find than QB and LT… There was ZERO other options. Did you not see what the Raiders paid that Patriots career backup off of one season? The draft also did not have any great options.

    I would with have White over any of those rookie potential LT’s also so D. Smith was the move. And we can still replace him easy the contract isn’t long in guarantees or years which is the key. This was more of a band-aid attempt than a long term solution.

  25. macabee Says:

    I want to see training camp when the pads go on. Include RB Bruce Anderson/SDSU in the mix. Kid may surprise!

  26. Joe Says:

    Kid may surprise!

    Hope so macabee. Hope you’re doing OK.

  27. Allbuccedup Says:

    Old saying you get what you pay for.

  28. D-Rome Says:

    Barber goes is not going to have 1200 yards. He’ll be lucky to have 800 yards rushing.

    Because Arians prefers the pass.

    Fans are setting themselves upvfor disappointment.

    Much like you did when you predicted an 11-5 season last year.

    I mean, in case you haven’t noticed just about every team in the NFL prefers the pass.

  29. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    Could of had a guy with the 70th pick that would give him 2,000 yards rushing and 30 TD’s for half the money but instead they got two practice squad DB’s for twice the money.

    If you’re projecting Barber for 1200 and 8, I’m using the same math for Henderson.

  30. The Buc Realist Says:

    Seems the sheep keep forgetting that they are against the cap!!!!!!!! I know they love nothing more than a free-agency signing over anything else!!!!!! But RB is a position that you should be able to only draft ( if you have a decent GM) !!!!!!!!!!! Which is the “real” problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But the sheep and local media are only too happy to keep a bad gm around because that means they get another year of the fold like a lawn chair qb, that is jw3!!!!! Another wasted year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

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

  31. Allbuccedup Says:

    If Barber was going to get 1200 yards at his 3.7 yards per carry he would have to carry the ball 20 plus times a game. Not going to happen with JW throwing 50 times a game.

  32. TexBuc Says:

    In my opinion the Patriot’s model works the best “better to trade a player a year too early than to keep a year too long.”
    RB by committee is best and treat the position like a college program and just keep bringing in new guys as the older RB’s graduate for “money.”

  33. NOSBOS Says:

    What Tex said. What’s taking other organizations so long to catch on puzzles me.

  34. NOSBOS Says:

    It’s simple people,run the ball by committee 400x during the regular season you go deep into the playoffs. Both rams and pats rush the ball last season over 450x.

  35. Joe Says:

    It’s simple people,run the ball by committee 400x during the regular season you go deep into the playoffs. Both rams and pats rush the ball last season over 450x.

    Last Joe checked, neither the Rams nor the Belicheats had Peyton Barber, Ronald Jones and Jacquizz Rodgers (106 yards!!!) as their running backs. Hell, the Rams had a backup running back who made the Bucs’ running backs look like AAF flunkies.

    If you are going to run the ball, you sure as hell better have the horses to run the ball.

  36. NOSBOS Says:

    So DR when talk about “points allowed” it’s understandable considering the rams and pats controlled time of possession most games. Now I responded on the other thread. The rams were dead in the water super Sunday because Todd Gurley wasn’t right. The rams are a play action offense(they called the most play action plays in the league last season) with out that element they didn’t stand a chance against Belichess.

  37. NOSBOS Says:

    Joe! What becomes of any pats RB once they leave that system??? You can include Legarret Blount.

  38. NOSBOS Says:

    I said last night Barber had 871 rushing yards on 234 carries. Had that carry number been 250 or 260 he would’ve been a 1000 yard rusher bro.

  39. Joe Says:

    Joe! What becomes of any pats RB once they leave that system??? You can include Legarret Blount.

    Well, Blount went on to win a ring with the Eagles, no?

  40. Hodad Says:

    We overpaid for linemen who can’t block, that’s the problem. Get that O line working, and any back can run behind it.

  41. BA FAN Says:

    Barber is excellent for a power blocking scheme and Rojo will be an excellent change of pace back. Anderson and Ogunbowale can backup Barber and Wilson or BA’s former back can backup Rojo. With improved blocking our running game will keep the other team’s offense on the bench and rest our Defense. At the end of the game a good running team can run out the clock and keep the Defense from having to win the game. Having a long distance place kicker can win several more of our games. With a good running game Jameis won’t need to pass over 40 times a game, reducing interceptions, and will allow Jameis to improve his scoring TDs in the red zone. Vea just needs to play FB in the red zone!

  42. NOSBOS Says:

    😁you took the bait Joe,cause I knew that was all you could reach for. True indeed and in my opinion he was the catalyst for winning that Super Bowl. But he was surrounded by talent in philly. Now in Detroit not so much.

  43. NOSBOS Says:

    30 more carries and Barber would’ve been a 1000 yard guy. Easy. Can’t blame Barber because klueless found running the football useless.

  44. NOSBOS Says:

    You speak as if all Barber does is get stuffed in the backfield. I get it highlights and film are two different things. But when I watch Barbers 2018 highlights he’s breaking runs routinely.

  45. Joe Says:

    Now in Detroit not so much.

    Sure. Wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact he’s 32. Nah, just a coincidence, right?

  46. Joe Says:

    You speak as if all Barber does is get stuffed in the backfield. I get it highlights and film are two different things. But when I watch Barbers 2018 highlights he’s breaking runs routinely.

    3.7 yards a carry. Yup, that’s breakaways run “routinely.”

  47. Joe Says:

    30 more carries and Barber would’ve been a 1000 yard guy.

    First, 62 yards a game isn’t something to brag about. You may have a helluva point that Koetter’s offense was not built to run whatsoever.

  48. Oregonbucsfan Says:

    Joe, watch out, you’re using logic in your last posts.

  49. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “Hell, the Rams had a backup running back who made the Bucs’ running backs look like AAF flunkies.”

    And that guy was unemployed and off the street.

    Rams O-line / system was very conducive to rushing success regardless of the RB.

    CJ Anderson actually looked BETTER than Todd Gurley towards the end…

    So this kind of goes both ways. Rams if anything seemed to show that in the right system you can produce a very solid run game regardless of the back

    If the Rams take a step back this year, it’ll likely be due to losing more than 1/2 their starting O-line; and how that effects Goff/the run game.

  50. diddler Says:

    Fingers crossed for Barber that he can put it all together this year. That run push was horrendous he was under the gun as soon as he touched the ball. His evading score was #10 in the league. He developed a sweet little juke to turn lost yards in to 1 to 3 yard gains but let’s face it he’s not a home run hitter which is fine. The passing has me worried for him. If you watch some Johnson footage man he’s going all out every play from goal line to 20 yard posts, to pass blocking. A ton more will be expected of Barber on this offense. If he excels, a big pay day is coming.

  51. NOSBOS Says:

    So did you mention him bro. That made him 30 when he won the super bowl with philly. I thought 30 was the age RBs became after thoughts.

  52. NOSBOS Says:

    62 yards a game you say in one sentence and another sentence agree that klueless didn’t prioritize running the football the way he was instructed to do while OCing for Lovie. 🤔 hmm,wonder what Barbers numbers might’ve looked like had ran the ball 20 to 20+ times a game. See the longer runs usually happen in the second half after the Dline energy level has declined some.

  53. NOSBOS Says:

    This ish ain’t rocket science.

  54. Jean Lafitte Says:

    After next season with the new Winston contract they’ll have no choice than let Barber go. Where you gonna find $8 million?

  55. Jackpc1 Says:

    Anyone recall how well Barber ran the ball in the first quarter of games until woeful Bucs D fell behind making the running plan obsolete? Considering that Barber declared pro after his sophomore year at Auburn, last year would have been his “rookie” year. 890 yards and 5 touchdowns, not too shabby.

  56. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Barber = Graham