Bruce Arians And Change

March 6th, 2020

Clings to what worked for him.

There has been chatter that this quarterback can come to the Bucs and that quarterback can come to the Bucs and lead the offense to the playoffs, a mountain that Mr. Entertainment, America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, has yet to climb.

Specifically, two quarterbacks mentioned are Tom Brady and Teddy Bridgewater.

Now Brady, at this stage of his career, is not much of a downfield thrower. Bridgewater never has been (notice Joe didn’t write “can’t?”).

Arians, as former Patriots suit and NFL general manager Michael Lombardi pointed out this week, loves throwing the ball downfield. Long passes. Explosive. It is his bread and butter. That’s not in the wheelhouse of Brady or Bridgewater.

Recently another NFL suit, former Jets player personnel guy Pat Kirwan, said it is wishful thinking to believe a 67-year old coach will change his offense. Arians didn’t get to where he is today by having a dink-and-dunk offense.

Why is Joe bringing this up? Well, both Lombardi and Kirwan are of the mind Arians will do what Arians does and it is unlikely to change, no matter the personnel.

Last night jet-flyin’, kiss–stealin‘, data-analyzin’, Bucs-film-studyin’, limousine-ridin’ Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times twittered an old quote from Arians about tight ends. Arians has caught heat from observers for not utilizing the supremely talented tight ends he has on his Bucs roster, O.J. Howard and Cam Brate.

This got Joe wondering where Bassinger got that quote from. A quick and simple Google search revealed a article from November 2015.

For quick background, Mike Evans is getting paid a good chunk of cash. He was utilized. Brate is not cheap. He was not utilized.

So even Brate making a nice piece of change didn’t sway Arians to adjust.

Even if Brady or Bridgewater come to the Bucs, it is unlikely Arians will change his offense. And Brady and Bridgewater, if you believe two seasoned former NFL suits and observers who are both plugged in to the league, might be asked to run an offense for which they are not best suited.

46 Responses to “Bruce Arians And Change”

  1. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Jameis has the edge over both of them when it comes bigger and harder to bring down. Winston is an underrated matador, TB and TB would have gone down on plays Jameis has shrugged off defenders.

  2. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    I don’t think OJ was a bad pick at the time, he was a steal at 19 (I think it was 19).
    Coaches change and obviously like you said Joe, Arians doesn’t utilize his TEs anywhere close to how much Koetter did.
    But let’s look at it from a value standpoint…Who would get more in a trade, OJ or Cook?
    IMO OJ is more valuable than an injury prone RB halfway through his rookie deal. Remember, teams don’t like to pay big money to RBs and he’s gonna want to be paid. (And he has no 5th yr option)
    I believe we have to get value for our TEs while we can. They are great weapons to have but not if we’re not going to use them. Get some blocking TEs, and spend that money elsewhere.

  3. Adsf Says:

    Comparing an offense not adjusting to Cameron Brate to what adjustments could be made for a QB is ABSURD.

    This is a Skip Bayless level hot take….do better

  4. LaMarcus Says:

    Maybe it’s good for the Bucs because we will be forced to get a run game. It will be the absolute need and then do u pay Godwin? His production will take a hit

  5. Joe Says:

    Comparing an offense not adjusting to Cameron Brate to what adjustments could be made for a QB is ABSURD.

    If it is so absurd, am sure you have ample evidence that you can link to that demonstrates how Arians has adjusted his no-risk-it-no-biscuit offense to fit QBs who aren’t deep throwers.

    Joe really would like to see it. Honestly. What can you bring?

  6. Joe Says:

    Coaches change and obviously like you said Joe, Arians doesn’t utilize his TEs anywhere close to how much Koetter did.

    Koetter sure did like tight ends.

    Howard was, from a draftnik point of view, a good value. Who would have, and still had, a bigger impact on the Bucs? Joe would maintain Cook.

    Joe’s not anti-Howard whatsoever. Just thought it was a luxury pick with Brate already on board. Given how Howard’s role has been reduced, that makes the running back hole look worse.

    Not sure the Bucs should have drafted Cook at No. 19 overall though.

    Easy to do rear-view mirror analysis, isn’t it? 🙂

  7. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Joe if we are going to play the what if game on what we should’ve drafted it should by no means have been cook at 19. Tre White, TJ Watt and Ryan Ramcyk were all taken before cook and are far better players. Most of the people who still cry about cook to this day are just FSU homers trying to cling on to the glory years.

  8. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Alot of moving parts…
    Re-signing Bucs Defensive FA’s likely to cost $50 – 55 million
    Who will be added as Bucs RB’s / OLinemen through draft or FA?
    Will Bucs add a blocking TE and trade Brate?
    How much will Jameis or whoever else cost?

    It seems Bucs will target Brady / Bridgewater in FA, but if it doesn’t work under the cap or they get offers they prefer elsewhere, may come back to Jameis or we all may be surprised – Bucs could trade for Dalton and draft a QB.

    Lots of drama…

  9. Tbbucs3 Says:

    I like BAs offense for the most part but he needs to adjust and not be so stuck in his ways.

    All the top offenses in the NFL utilize their TEs because it simplifies the passing game and makes the offense more QB friendly.

    I would ask BA to study
    – Travis Kelce and KC
    – George Kittle and SF
    – Gronk with NE
    – Mark Andrews with BAL

    C’mon BA don’t be like Dirk and refuse to run a simple slant route because it’s not your “philosophy” make the adjustment.

  10. stravenite Says:

    Amazing, the bucs pay BA to coach and we think we know better than him who can/can’t qb his offense ?, JW can’t so let’s move on asap and hold BA accountable for the change, pay him a wad of cash so if he chooses Bridgewater then so be it, the win/loss column at the end of the regular season tells us how good that is, but let JW go as it clearly isn’t working, if it was he would be signed to a contract !.

    What happened to the two year JW deal Jenna Laine confirmed was going down three weeks ago, smoke in mirrors so we wait to see who is coming in, please get JW out !.

  11. Kwame Richardson,Sr. Says:

    BA’s offense has 3 levels for the qb to get the ball to the receiver. Not just deep throws, but intermediate, etc.. even though I would love to have JW back, other qbs would succeed in said offense. Go Bucs.

  12. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Silly take ..for one thing Gronk was a TE who mostly played exclusively in the slot which is usually held by a WR on most teams. Plus, by design in BA’s offense TE’s are kept in to help pass block because of the time needed for deep routes to develop. Teddy Bridgewater and Tom Brady ran offenses where the decisions were made quickly and the ball was out faster. I think Brady or Bridgewater would look to pass on the shorter routes with better accuracy than Jameis, and still take their amount of deepshots. Unlike Jameis who seems to live throwing the ball deep, let’s not forget that 20 of his 33 INTS were inside his own 30 yard line. All or nothing it seems.

  13. #1 Pick QB 2 Cent Brain Says:

    I feel like Joe and the majority of the nfl talking heads never watch the ALL 22…

    Not every play is a 40 yard route

  14. geno711 Says:

    I see Bruce Arians adapting all his coaching career so I guess I am in the disagreement circle.

    When he was a player, he was a run first guy. When he 1st became a coach, he used to run and eschew the pass.

    Watch NFL films a football life on Arians.
    Watch Amazon Prime’s Arizona Cardinals season when he coached there.

    He was involved in developing many quarterbacks. They were not the same and did not look the same on the field in what they did.

    He switched Fitzgerald a great receiver to a new role and it worked. He had not done that role for a receiver in Pittsburgh or Indy.

    To say that his offenses in Pittsburgh, Indy, Cleveland, Arizona and Tampa were all the same is really simplifying someone who understands things at a level of football that is so high.

    Didn’t he transition Ronald Jones in a way no one saw coming. He moved Godwin to different positions and he looked great in his 1st season with Arians.

    No doubt he believes in risking that biscuit but to act like his age means he is incapable of change does not add up.

    When the season ends and the Buc’s defense at the end of the year looks more elite than his quarterback, he is clear (even though he is an offensive guy) that the defensive players are the ones that need to be re-signed more than the QB.

    He is not predictable except that he looks for as many high level football players as he can get. On his draft strategy last year, said that you need to get BPA because if you take based upon position need you will be out of the league.

    If he gets in Bridgewater or Brady, then he thinks they are more capable and will adapt to those players. Seems like a false narrative that he cannot adapt. If there were 5-6 ex players saying that then I would consider that position to have more validity.

  15. Bucs Guy Says:

    OJ was a good pick at the time. Unfortunately, he hasn’t worked out and I don’t see him getting any better with BA because he won’t be emphasized. Trade him now while he has value – 2nd and 4th.

    It seems the 4 x T are all moving up the board in mock drafts. If all of them are gone, along with Derrick Brown and Kinlaw, trade back to 18 or 21 (Miami or Philly). Then get Jones from Houston for your tackle and you will have 3 x 2nd round picks for some very good players at DT, DE and S. G/C in the 3rd, WR, CB and RB in 4th, blocking TE in the 5th and LB depth in the 6th.

  16. stravenite Says:

    Well detailed geno711, people who want no-one but Jaymiss skew the detail to fit their narrative.

  17. Eric Says:

    Lol anytime someone shows that this coach has shown his inability to be flexible they are making an excuse for JW lol, note to the “whisper” this is not the 70’s bro is you have a TE that can help your team get better its ok to use him everyone in the league wants one you may have 2 use them!

  18. OneBuc55 Says:

    This is why I feel Jameis will be back…

    Also, I feel as if we may as well release Brate for the extra cash and trade Howard ifor a draft pick or 2 if we’re not gonna use them…Auclair and Hudson would be fine for what BA needs from his TEs in this offense…

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    geno711 … Excellent observations. No offensive scheme could live for very long in the NFL by being rigid & dogmatic. NFL defenses keep evolving, and offenses need to evolve with them or you’re in trouble. BA’s very astute & adapts to the personnel he has. Problem last year was … he didn’t have the horses to do certain things, so he adapted.

    Chris Godwin & Mike Evans are good cases in point I think. Both did very well in this offense last year. Godwin caught 86 of 121 targets (71.1%) for 1,333 yards (15.5 YPC average) on the season, while ME13 caught 67 of 118 targets (56.8%) for 1,157 yards (17.3 YPC average) on the season. Interestingly though, they kept alternating big games; in the first half of the season for instance, Godwin came up BIG in the Panthers, Rams, Saints, Panthers games, while ME13 came up BIG in the Giants, Titans & Seahawks games (neither shone brightly in the 49ers game).

    IOW, it seems apparent that the Bucs offense favored one over the other in certain games, although it may have been a matter of ‘feeding the hot hand’ once the game got underway. Against the Titans for instance, ME13 was 11-for-12 with 198 yards while Godwin was 4-for-8 with 43 yards, while against the Saints (1st game), Godwin was 7-for-9 with 125 yards while ME13 was 0-for-3 for yup, 0 yards. Feed the hot hand.

    Now if we can just get BA to do that with our RBs and our TEs. We’d be unstoppable. Oh wait, BA’s not running the show. It’s BL’s offense now. Maybe the student sees things differently than the teacher?

  20. Hethrew 30 Says:

    Another article trying to make a case that Winston is the guy, that Brady and Bridgewater somehow wouldn’t be a good fit in an Arians offense. OMG, what a joke. The bottom line is those guys don’t throw INTs to excesses, much less extreme losing successes like Winston. Oh yeah, Brady isn’t explosive. Bridgewater isn’t explosive. GTFOH.

    Exactly what is the long pass? If Joe thinks Winston regularly airs it out for 50 yard gains, he’s truly on drugs. Brady’s average yards per pass is 7.5 with a 97 rating. Bridgewater is 7.2 with an 88 rating, while Winston averages 7.7 yards per pass with a 87 passer rating. That’s not a huge difference, especially when you compare that Winstons INT rate is double what Brady’s is in 20 years, and 33% more than Teddy’s.

    Two questions settle this. Which QB gives the Bucs a better chance to win a game? Which QB takes better care of the football? And you can throw in several other free agents, and they’d pretty much all beat Winston.

    Winston must be paying one of the Joe’s to write this crap. BTW, any one of those free agents would love to throw footballs to this receiver squad.

  21. martinii Says:

    I know this sounds absurd but sometimes I see OJ Howard as a wideout much like Vincent Jackson. That would leave Brate and Hudson at TE and you could save Perriman’s cap space. Just thinking out of the box.

  22. SteveK Says:

    Agree with you, hethrew30.

    The historical date for W-L record, and turnover margin is astonishing. For the past 50 years, the team that has won the turnover margin has won the game 70% of the time. This is being fully ignored by the apologists bc they can’t/won’t accept that the yards and points are “fool’s gold” when you consider the company me at the cost of exposing your defense and the most turnovers since 2015, and most this year by a wide margin.

  23. bucnole Says:

    Not utilizing the weapons we have on offense (TEs) is just a crime. Why would you not throw a few wrinkle plays into the playbook for these guys? And a few screens please. I know coaches have big egos (winning ones do) but don’t be that stupid – use the tools at your disposal.

  24. BucEmUp Says:

    I would trade oj and resteucture cam, jameis loves throwing to cam he trust him.Howard droos ball and doesnt want to be here.

  25. #1 Pick QB 2 Cent Brain Says:

    If you don’t change and adapt to your personnel you aren’t a championship level coach

    Those are the facts

  26. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    The answer is simple, keep Jameis, and get him a real running game.

  27. Hodad Says:

    So Joe, you’re telling us every pass play in Arains offense is a deep throw? Arains himself said his offense is like any other, he has receivers running routes on ALL three levels. Does he want his QB to push the ball down field? Sure, but I’m sure he’d rather have a complete six yard pass on third, and five, then a 30 yard miss. Besides Joe, if you look at Jameis’s picks, most are not long throws. Most come in the ten yard range which should be a bunny for a pro QB. How many times has he been picked by a linebacker? They’re not covering deep throws. How many times has he been picked throwing a simple out route? You’re reaching with this deep throw nonsense.

  28. SmittyToiletBowles Says:

    Draft is coming up. Two tight ends to dangle is better than one. That’s what he said.

  29. Mr. Reality Says:

    Some really good comments above to pretty much call this story out as a big nothing. Brady and Bridgewater are not only more effective than Winston (they win, protect the rock) but they don’t repeatedly lose games and then come out saying they are ballin’. And agreed, if Arians can’t adapt his style to the tools he has, then he shouldn’t be coaching. He doesn’t have to change his whole scheme and philosophy…but yes, add the wrinkles needed. Maybe that’s why Arians couldn’t even be on the same field with Sean Payton. He needs to get out of his golf cart and WTFU. And show me a guy who’d rather have Winston over Teddy or Brady, and I’ll show you the town idiot.

  30. Pewter power Says:

    Ok sooo now arians is only mentioning brady by name to drive winston price down? Lol hes had his coach do scouting reports on multiple possible free agents just for the hell of it I guess. I’d want them to sign tb or tb just to listen for the next 3-4 months of reporters try to tell this coach what they will and will not be able to do in his own system.

  31. D1 Says:

    1 pick QB,

    Saban, Meyers, Billichek.

    Championships… more than one each.

    Systems , 1. They are the definition of championship level. And they all have a system and they don’t change the system.

    These are the facts you were looking for.

  32. OneBuc55 Says:

    With all do respect Mr. Reality I respect your opinion…

    I could understand Brady, he’s arguably the GOAT…
    But if Bridgewater was so great why did Minnesota give up on him for Kurt Cousins? The answer is, he’s a solid QB but made of glass; and has shown throughout his career that he isn’t tough enough to be a starting NFL QB…He’d get destroyed in this offense…

  33. LazyMoak Says:

    If there is a quarterback ahead of the Buccaneer pick that Arinans likes, they should go all in and pay the asking price and get started with the new era !!!

  34. miken Says:

    Bassinger is the absolute worst.

  35. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Bassinger likes to stir up controversy in past Bucs draft picks. Case in point, he always brings up the 2nd Round pick of Roberto Aguayo. This would be like sitting around complaining about the girlfriend that left you in 2016 and broke your heart. Is there any sense crying about it 4 years later? At some point, you have to move on. I’ve moved on from Thomas Bassinger’s drivel.

  36. Mr. Reality Says:

    OneBuc…Teddy had fluke, gruesome injury that could happen to anyone. If I’m correct, that kept him out a long time but he’s not had anything since. I’m not arguing against Winston’s stamina, but he’s probably more injury prone than Teddy, if that was an argument.

  37. Mr. Reality Says:

    The lid would fly off ticket sales if the Bucs announced Teddy as the new Bucs QB.

    Yes, of course, Brady too, but that’s no happening.

  38. D1 Says:


    Bridgewater suffered a freak injury in practice that was severe enough to be a career ending accident. The guy almost lost a wheel and you ask why Minnesota decided to move on?

    Other than a practice injury, Bridgewater hasn’t been knocked out of games. He’s had one major injury and I believe a concussion. That’s not injury prone or something ridiculous in that line of thought.

    Fact is, Winston has had more injuries than ted. And Winston’s performance declines with injuries. Can’t say that about Ted.

    Odd that Arians has said he likes teddy and it sets off people who claim any and everything to dismiss what the coach said.

    Reality is a bitc#. But not facing it, makes you one.

  39. Craig Says:

    If Jameis could get the ball out of his hands faster, he would not have to be bigger and harder to take down.

    Bridgewater has a bigger arm than he showed last year. He mainly wanted to know if he could still play the game. To go 5-0 with that hanging over him should raise his stock.

    He had a couple of 80+ yard through at Minnesota, Jameis ain’t got any that long. Don’t say Jameis has a bigger arm. He doesn’t. he just uses his arm a lot more and it looks flamboyant. Most of those fall to the ground or are intercepted. Bridgewater knows when to throw the long ball, he has other parts to his game that Jameis is lacking.

  40. MarineBucsFan Says:

    Get Conklin and dump Brate’s Salary.

  41. Vadertime Says:

    Let’s face it all you Winston worshippers. Jameis peaked in college where Jimbo Fisher catered an offense around Winston’s particular skill sets. He was never a super accurate thrower despite his rocket-launcher arm. He’s been here in TB for 5 years. He will not elevate. He is at his maximum potential. He will not get better. Move on and set Jameis free.

  42. 813bucboi Says:

    when teddy was with the vikings they were a run first team with AP…..

    he got with the saints and they are currently a run first/screen team…..

    teddy has never been asked to orchestrate an offense that requires him to throw down field…..

    teddy can make every throw JW can…..

    GO BUCS!!!!

  43. bojim Says:

    At least Brady would change the play at the line if he believes a tight end could make a play.Whether BA likes it or not.

  44. MadMax Says:

    Eason has an arm if BA really wants to be here 3+ years. Adjust the big play throws for a Brady while Eason is getting comfortable, then next year, Eason is ready to fire that howitzer to Evans, Godwin and Claypool!

  45. asdf Says:

    Comparing an offense not adjusting to Cameron Brate to what adjustments could be made for a QB is ABSURD.

    If it is so absurd, am sure you have ample evidence that you can link to that demonstrates how Arians has adjusted his no-risk-it-no-biscuit offense to fit QBs who aren’t deep throwers.

    Joe really would like to see it. Honestly. What can you bring?


    I never implied I had evidence to support that. I am simply pointing out that your comparison of BA’s willingness to adapt his offense to single TE vs a QB is completely illogical. The entire offense runs through the QB – it’s a completely different situation.

    Trying to argue that because BA didn’t adapt his offense for Cam Brate means he won’t for a QB (the most important position in football) is ABSURD. That data point does nothing to prove the thesis that BA won’t adapt an offense for a QB (even if that thesis itself might be true)

  46. Joe Says:

    I never implied I had evidence to support that. I am simply pointing out that your comparison of BA’s willingness to adapt his offense to single TE vs a QB is completely illogical. The entire offense runs through the QB – it’s a completely different situation.

    As well as information from two NFL insiders.

    Info that Joe (and Bassinger) cited seems to backup what Lombardi and Kirwan have said, and reinforce the notion Arians doesn’t use tight ends.

    Still, you don’t have an iota of info to support Joe’s information is “absurd.” Just winging it likely with a preconceived bias.

    Now *that* is illogical.