Ranking Bruce Arians

July 19th, 2019

“Bruce, this list seems a little shady to me — shady!”

So where would you slot Bucco Bruce Arians in the list of NFL coaches? An NFL Network talking head believes Arians is no better than middle-of-the-pack.

Typing for NFL.com, Elliot Harrison seemed to penalize Arians for being out of the league last year when he decided to rank all NFL coaches. Harrison thinks Arians is fairly judged in the list of NFL coaches at No. 16.

16) Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bruce Arians took a year off from coaching last year, although he stayed in the business, calling games for CBS. The season away from the sideline doesn’t help his case here. I’m not going to vault him over some of the young coaches who have had nothing but success in the NFL thus far. While Arians has never reached the heights of a Super Bowl as a head coach, he has won Coach of the Year twice, with two different teams. Moreover, he lifted the Cardinals from division doormat to a formidable football team. Counting his work in Indianapolis in 2012, Arians won 50 games in six seasons as a head coach, despite not being the head coach for the full season in ’12. He was a huge factor in elevating Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, and Carson Palmer as quarterbacks. Which is why so many folks are excited to see what he can do to augment Jameis Winston’s game.

Some coaches Harrison has above Arians are Mike Lynn of the Chargers, Mike Zimmer of the Vikings and Matt Nagy of the Bears and Chucky of the Raiders.

Having Arians at No. 16 isn’t really disturbing to Joe, though Joe believes he could be higher.

You know what Joe is more concerned about? Wins.

28 Responses to “Ranking Bruce Arians”

  1. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Zimmer is the coach the Bucs should’ve hired instead of loser Lovie

    Only person Arians should be higher than is Chucky

    Especially since Arians isn’t even coaching in 2019, just a figurehead. Sucks the Bucs aren’t getting the kick ass play caller from his past stops

  2. Bucnjim Says:

    Considering what we’ve seen from the last four coaches I’ll take #16 all day every day. Now he still has to perform here in Tampa but I’m more confident this year than I’ve been in a while.

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    Good chance that ole stale biscuit will not even be on the “2020 NFL head coach power rankings”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Most likely will be a silver alert for a golf cart driven by a senile senior wearing a funny looking hat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

  4. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Definitely the bucs should have hired zimmer 5 years ago; if arians wins here with this squad then he deserves the best gravy & biscuit brunch tampa has for life

  5. D-Rome Says:

    I’ll take middle of the pack over Inept Irk any day of the week.

  6. Magadude Says:

    Middle of the pack. That’s pretty much the record. Yeah, if only this, that, and the other thing, he’d be better.

    Add to the record. Make it great. Then we can talk.

  7. stpetebucsfan Says:

    On the list of motivating factors this might be 1,000,001 on BA’s list but it doesn’t hurt to have him low rented to younger guys. Can’t please him, although with BA he could probably care less.

    He wants a Super Bowl. IMHO if he didn’t think he had a chance in the next 3 years I don’t believe he would have taken the job.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    @Harrison … “Counting his work in Indianapolis in 2012, Arians won 50 games in six seasons as a head coach”. Uhhh, maybe I’m the one who can’t count, but it looks like BA won 58 games over those 6 seasons IF you count Indy as Harrison did. That gives him a 6-year record of 58-33-1 … a winning percentage of 63%. That’s IMPRESSIVE.

    I’m with you Joe, BA should’ve been rated higher. But realistically, it won’t matter a hill of beans come Sept 8th. Every coach starts off with the same 0-0 won-loss record.

  9. Dapostman Says:

    How many coaches ahead of him have won coach of the year twice and have a 63% win percentage?

    You are what your record and accomplishments say you are.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    @Loyaltotheend Section 312 … “Especially since Arians isn’t even coaching in 2019, just a figurehead. Sucks the Bucs aren’t getting the kick ass play caller from his past stops.”

    Arians isn’t even coaching? Say what? Do you know what a HEAD COACH is supposed to do Loyal? our last true HC was Tony Dungy. Chucky got away with focusing on his OC duties for one reason only: he had Monte Kiffin running the best defense in the NFL at the time. Raheem took over DC duties … and blew it. Schiano focused too much on defense … and blew it. Lovie took over DC duties … and blew it. Koetter stayed as OC, ignored the defense and let Smitty run it with no oversight … guess how that turned out.

    BA has assembled an awesome coaching staff IMO, and now his job as HC is to get it functioning as a finely-tuned machine … offense, defense and S/Ts all playing COMPLEMENTARY FOOTBALL. IF he ends up calling the plays, we’re in trouble because that means his coaching staff is faltering. BA is anything BUT a figurehead Loyal; he’s the HEAD COACH this team has been missing for far too many years.

  11. martinii Says:

    6 days and counting. Go Buc’s

  12. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    Agree Defense.

    BA is like the the conductor of a symphony. He makes sure everyone is performing together in unison.

    You don’t see a conductor playing a specific instrument. He plays the orchestra.

    As head coach, that’s BAs job. Make sure the team performs together as a whole.

  13. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Defense Rules:

    Dungy was always hands off on calling plays. Arians has never been as a head coach, so why the change now to hand off play calling duties when he has had success in the past with calling plays? Seems to me Loyal’s point is pretty valid.

    Hopefully Bruce will take control of offense if it is pathetic or even mediocre.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The ranking of importance will be next year’s….

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Joseph Mamma … I agree with you that Tony was always hands-off on calling plays. He was in the role as HEAD COACH & we did better for his years here than we’d ever done … or have done since. As BA has gotten older, it seems to me that he’s transitioned more to the role of ‘teacher’.

    Personally I applaud him for that. Too many ‘hands on’ leaders leave a huge void when they leave. BA is setting our coaching staff up IMO for a seamless transition once he decides to give up HC duties. CONTINUITY is one of the key elements that the Bucs have been lacking for at least the past decade.

  16. doolnutts Says:

    I am a little concerned that Bruce isn’t calling the plays. It is what he is known for and how he ascended into being known as a great coach. Leftwich is only calling t plays for his second season so well see how it turns out. People are going to lose their minds if we regress offensively and end up losing on top of that. On the defensive side of the ball I do like the hire of Bowles although his defenses with the Jets were largely a dud. We will see how this goes.. My fingers are crossed.

  17. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:


    Bucs hired the QB whisperer, who called plays for good offensive teams like the Steelers, Colts, and Cardinals and helped groom QB’s like Luck, Palmer and Big Ben. Who won multiple awards for being a coach who called plays and groomed the most important position on the field

    But they aren’t getting that guy here…

    They are getting a neophyte coordinator in Leftwich and a QB coach in Christensen who is not very good and has a bad track record of helping to develop a qb. Do you really think he improved Peyton Manning?

    The Arians hire to me is like buying a Porsche with a lawn mower engine

  18. German Buc Says:

    @DR: Exactly my opinion!

  19. German Buc Says:

    Btw. with #16 BA is slotted as the fourth best HC of the NFC South

  20. Magadude Says:

    Archie coaced Peyton (and Eli). Pretty sure Peyton coached Clyde. Doesn’t mean Clyde is bad…but I’m also concerned about Arians letting Leftwich run too long before stepping in if needed. Don’t want to see OJT here. The Bucs can’t botch the first frew games here; it’s already going to be new enough for everyone.

  21. Bejesus belt Says:

    Funny Gruden is #15. He obviously didn’t get penalized for 10 years off and a putrid season last year. Not to mention he was just good enough to keep coaching job after winning the title and it was questionable at best to keep him that long. I think alone discredits the article and should classify it as rubbish.

  22. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Gruden won the super bowl and basically was the reason 2 teams were in the super bowl that year. Not to mention he should have won the tuck rule game and been in Super Bowl then. He was 9-7 & bucs fired him because he was a meany…. gruden will have vegas raiders on track to super bowl before bucs

  23. Mike Johnson Says:

    YOU…are only as good as NOW. Right NOW. Its true in business and life. What..have YOU..done for me lately. Better win Mr. Arians. You’ve talked enough smack to fill up a..Regional garbage landfill sir. Because if you don’t? Buc fans are gonna turn on you striking quicker than an..Arizona Diamonback!

  24. BucEmUp Says:

    Had he been hired by amy other team.he would’ve been ranked higher. Its the stink oof the glaziers that tarnishes everyones name who come here. The NFL world hates them

  25. 813bucboi Says:

    The Buc Realist Says:
    July 19th, 2019 at 8:29 am
    Good chance that ole stale biscuit will not even be on the “2020 NFL head coach power rankings”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    and neither will dirk or smitty!!!!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  26. July Joe Says:

    The only two coaches that “definitely” should be ranked ahead of Arians are the GOAT and Pete Carroll, that’s it.

    Other coaches that could “maybe” be ranked ahead of him are Reid, Gruden, Tomlin, Pederson and McVay, that’s it.

    Arians is the 8th best coach “at worst”. The guy has won NFL COY in each conference and he did it with the Manning-less Colts and the flippin Arizona Cardinals, not exactly powerhouse franchises.

    Just like people think QBs who “win” are better than those who “lose” even if the losing QB is obviously way better, the same thing can be said about coaches.

    Not all coaches are in the same situation. Andy Reid is always ranked in the top 5 or so coaches and Kyle Shanahan was ranked #23 … but give Shanahan the Chiefs roster this year and give Reid the 49’ers and watch which coach has the better “record”.

    People worship Nick Saban because of his “record” … the guy is coaching an all-star team every single year. Give him Duke’s roster next year and give Duke’s coach Cutcliffe the Alabama roster and see what happens.

    This stuff is sooooooo easy to understand, yet most fans still don’t get it, it’s very weird, like everyone with a brain is living in “the upside down” where all the loudest voices have lost their minds and just speak nonsense and everyone agrees with them. Weird.

  27. Magadude Says:

    Mike Johnson Says:
    July 19th, 2019 at 11:04 am
    YOU…are only as good as NOW. Right NOW. Its true in business and life. What..have YOU..done for me lately. Better win Mr. Arians. You’ve talked enough smack to fill up a..Regional garbage landfill sir.”
    Exactly. A lot of folks are talking about “real coaching” and some are already planning on giving BA a higher job when he stops coaching…yet he’s not coached one snap yet. Oh, he may do great…hope so.

    Same kind of talk when Sam Wyche and Lovie Smith showed up. How’d that work out for us?

    But spending thousands upon thousands to go watch a group of guys run a kid’s game and make millions doing it…yeah, going to be hard on them.

  28. WestChap Says:

    I looked at those rated below him and concluded none could even remotely have been ranked ahead… in other words, they ranked him as low as they possibly could without losing all credibility. I’ll take a floor at #16 any day compared to the disasters since Chucky. Although, I could argue that from purely a coaching perspective (as opposed to being coach of a talented roster) that ranking him below fellow NFC South coaches Quinn and Rivera is somewhat questionable even with both having Super Bowl appearances… but life is too short.