“I’ll Put My Life On It”

June 7th, 2019

Sage Ira caught up to the senior member of Bruce Arians’s staff, legendary Tom Moore, for his Friday column.


He wouldn’t be here if he didn’t feel needed. He wouldn’t be here if he didn’t think he could help out an old friend.

So there he was out on the practice fields at One Buc Place during mandatory mini-camp, sweating along with the rest of the coaches and players. Yes, Tom Moore was sweating the details because that’s what you do when you’re a consultant for Bruce Arians.

Tom Moore

Moore, who turns 80 in November, worked with Arians in Indianapolis and Arizona. He’ll be back in Tampa for training camp in seven weeks when he could be welcoming a sunrise while strolling the beach at Hilton Head.

Moore is here for one reason and one reason only — to help Arians turn around another forlorn franchise. If the request came from any other man, the call would have gone straight to voicemail.

“Bruce Arians has the ‘it’ factor,” Moore told me this week before everyone at One Buc Place scattered in the sultry wind. “He was the perfect fit for this job. Trust me, Bruce Arians will get this team turned around.”

Moore has worked in this league for more than four decades and has accumulated three Super Bowl rings. He’s got nothing left to prove.

Why is he here? Arians says Moore’s presence gives him someone he respects that he can bitch to. Moore gives it right back. He may be in the inner circle, but he won’t tell Arians what he wants to hear.

He’ll tell him what he needs to know.

“Bruce has a great rapport with the players and they respect him,” Moore said. “He is very knowledgeable, he’s extremely intelligent. He knows how to handle the players. He knows when to do the right things to get the players going.

“They will be well coached because he’s a great believer in fundamentals and techniques and that’s how you win football games — with fundamentals. Bruce is the right guy for this particular job and he will get the job done.”

The hiring of Arians has given a disillusioned fan base reason to believe. Counting his 9-3 record as an interim coach for the 2012 Colts, Arians won 43 of his first 60 games on the NFL sidelines.

That’s extraordinary.

Those final two seasons with the Cardinals produced mediocre results as Arians was undermined by a series of lousy drafts.

Moore said Tampa Bay’s new head coach excels in teaching situational football. He expects the 2019 Bucs will display the characteristics of a Bruce Arians team.

“Toughness, smart, in condition, play to the last play …. and win,” Moore said. “He’ll get the job done …. I’ll put my life on it.”

Hall Pass

Before I asked Moore about Arians, I hit him up for his thoughts on John Lynch, whose Hall of Fame candidacy is stuck. Lynch has been a finalist for six consecutive years but is still waiting for a bust in Canton.

Moore doesn’t understand the holdup.

“When you prepared for Tampa, you had to prepare to take care of John Lynch,” he said. “John Lynch could turn a game around. You had to be conscious of where he was, conscious of whether he was coming after you and conscious if he was in coverage.

“He was a dominant force as a football player. Statistics are often misleading. I judge a player on how much trouble he gives a defense or an offense and how much you have to orchestrate your preparation to take care of him. That’s a sign of greatness. To me, the Hall of Fame is about people who were dominant at their position. That’s what I think of when I think about John Lynch.”

17 Responses to ““I’ll Put My Life On It””

  1. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Without an offensive line…

    No can do

    You need the ball out quick in the modern game. Nothing good comes to QBs holding the ball too long”

    Kobe Millennial Faker

  2. Lord Cornelius Says:


    Per the practice notes I saw a lot of RB passes in general and in red zone a lot of passes to the flat, or underneath routes designed for YAC / quick completions.

    There is hope my liege. But I agree my #1 concern with the team by far is O-line. I have some weird feeling the defense is going to surprise.


    It’s not even the drafts really. It was Carson Palmer basically falling off a cliff / going on IR, and then David Johnson the next year going on IR with no viable QB options.

    In 2016 they started 1-3 and then lost Palmer for the season along with the majority of their entire offensive line. Still had 7-8-1 record with Stanton/Zac Dysert (who?).

    In 2017 Bruce Arians went 8-8 despite David Johnson going on IR week 1, and his starting QBs being the trio of Drew Stanton / Matt Barkley/ Blaine Gabbert.

    SO basically this guy – when all things go to h3ll lin a season – still had his teams competing.

    Bucs teams with past Bucs coaches in these situations = guaranteed top 3-5 picks.. not 8-8 records ..

  3. Pryda...Sec147 Says:

    Great Lynch quote

  4. Cobraboy Says:

    Lord Cornelius Says:

    There is hope my liege. But I agree my #1 concern with the team by far is O-line.

    I am not as concerned about the OL, especially in the run game, but it could still be problematic.

    Go back and look at tape. The vast majority of run plays were slow-developing [ plays making it easier for a D to react and run. Very little misdirection plays and because most run plays were slower spread plays and not quick hitters, that hurt the play-action passing game.

    Koetter was never committed to the run game. Some exceptional performances by Martin and Simms masked this fault in his offense.

    I suspect the BA offense will have little in common with the Koetter offense. Even the downfield game is different. Koetter was a big outside/sideline deep ball guy, and Arians likes the inside seams.

    Or, at this point, one can hope.

  5. J Says:

    That’s why I believe this team will be so very different, and I believe it already is. The team is totally different than it has EVER been. There is structure, accountability and it’s understood. The players must know how fortunate they are to have Arians and company leading them into battle.

    I believe we will have a winning record because our team once it’s down to 53, will be the 53 that are willing to leave it all out on the field and produce results for their HC. You can JUST feel it.

  6. wausa Says:

    If the Bucs have an average defense, average running game and average special teams they will win the NFC South.

    That is a big IF though.

  7. RawDog Says:

    If you’re gonna write-off Arians final two seasons with the Cardinals due to “lousy drafts,” we are in big trouble with Jason Licht having been responsible for the past 6 Bucs drafts, with or without Arians.

  8. Magadude Says:

    Sad, that Lynch will never make the HoF because of the politics of glorifying a brutally hard-hidding Safety who played by the rules of the day…where many of his trademark tackles would be flagged today. It is a shame, because Lynch is more deserving of the HoF than other members who have gone in.

  9. Lord Cornelius Says:


    I hope so man! I do recall a lot less power run scheme and more long developing zone / guards pulling / etc which seems more prone to potential losses so you’re probalby onto something there

  10. BringBucsBack Says:

    McCoy fans, re-read that last paragraph and where it says John Lynch, insert GMC and where it says “he” think of GMC. Then be honest with yourself if you believe that those descriptions apply to GMC.

    THAT is all we “haters” are saying. We simply expected more from him.

    Go BA! See my name!

  11. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Simply ridiculous John Lynch is not in the HOF.

  12. Figures Says:


    So an average defense, average running game, and average special teams will win the division?

    So the other teams must be below average by that logic for an average team to win the division.

    Do you think before you post? You literally just said an average team will win the division. That’s just stupid.

  13. Billy_43 Says:

    That’s old news.
    As far as I’m concerned, Licht hit it out of the park this year.

  14. Ken Says:

    Love John Lynch, but he just does not have the numbers. Lynch was dominant at his position, and he was the reason why the Bucs won a lot of games, but that is not what the HoF is about.

    The HoF is “The BEST of the Best”. John just does not have the individual awards to get it done. He has ZERO individual accolades, meaning awards or individual accomplishments that are just one player, e.g., MVP, XX Player of the Year, League Leading XX, Only player to XX, or Most XX. Lynch has what it take to get considered, the Pro Bowles, years play, a Super Bowl ring, and All Pro, but all the guys at the final table have that stuff. How do you determine who is best when all are great? Cream rises to the top, always. At the “Best in the NFL” level, you are compared to players with awards like Most Ints, or top-5 all time, Most Forced Fumbles, MVP Super Bowl ___, League leading ___ in 20XX, you get the picture. When Lynch has none of that, he will always lose.

    Lynch has none of that type of individual achievements, and it is the negative discriminator that, as a skilled player compared to another skilled player, I cannot see him getting over. Barber has those accolades, but unfortunately, as long as the Bucs keep pushing Lynch, Barber has no shot because it sends the message that the Bucs think that Lynch is more deserving, when that just should not be true. Barber has the awards, and the individual achievements to make the cut, but no way two Bucs are making the final table.

    Barber will get in as soon as the Bucs switches horses, and rides the winner named Ronde Barber. JMHO

    Check Sage, your move.

  15. Jim Says:

    It’s like getting a new car. It smells and looks great when you first have it. We get one every three years. You love it at first but then something happens after a few years – dings, scratches, dents and no playoffs. Then we trade it in. The fascination starts all over again. Rinse and repeat, it’s all a Jedi mind trick. Speaking of which, when is Star Wars opening up at Disney World?

  16. Jmarkbuc Says:


    I don’t know art, but I know what I like…

    There is not a Buc fan anywhere (and a lot of other fans as well),
    that didn’t love watching Lynch patrol and enforce the back end of the Defense. He did for the secondary what Hardy did for the middle..changed a culture and made the Bucs bad a$$.

    I believe his fierce hitting is holding him back from getting in the hall, The Shield doesn’t want to show that highlight reel at the induction.

    If John wants to get in the hall, all he really has to do is get a job at NFLN..ever noticed how they all get in :).

    I can’t speak for everyone but I still remember what I was doing and where I was the day my buddy called me at work to tell me they released Lynch.. It was breaking news on all the local channels. Then there was the rally downtown for him to say farewell, He meant that much to the Bucs and the community.

  17. BuccoBoras Says:

    The Tampa Two required elite players at specific positions. John Lynch was one of them. That defense was awesome. He had a lot to do with that. One dude wrote that he didn’t have the numbers for the HoF. Then he said winning wasn’t enough. Winning is all that matters. How many game ending picks did Lynch come down with? How many times did he explosively bust up a 3rd down pass. He was a key contributor to a super bowl winning team. Those pro bowls mean something as well.