Bruce Arians Talks “Mix And Match”

November 26th, 2020

There are patterns at One Buc Palace.

When Mike Evans doesn’t get a lot of targets in a game, you can wager comfortably that coaches will say they need to move him around more and get him the ball.

Another pattern is when the Bucs don’t run much, coaches will say they’d love to run more.

“I would love to [get Ronald Jones more touches.] I would love to,” Bucco Bruce Arians told SiriusXM NFL radio this week.

“The game dictates it. Like I said, when we get hot, it’s usually when he’s running and then we can mix and match. It’s imperative for us, especially if teams are going to play split safeties, to get him going. It sets up so much in our offense.”

Joe knows the game dictates what happens, as Arians said. However, there’s a lot of room for interpretation there. And in that gray area is where great coaching is usually defined.

In the Bucs’ last two losses, they got away from the run game earlier than they had to, and Joe believes earlier than they should have.

Joe’s confident that will change on Sunday. That’s another pattern with the Bucs. When the ground game fades early, it reappears the following game.

(Later today or tomorrow, Joe will serve up video and more detail about what went wrong with the Bucs’ run game against the Rams.)

19 Responses to “Bruce Arians Talks “Mix And Match””

  1. UKBuccaneer Says:

    Watching The Texans @ Lions game right now, and suddenly feeling pretty good about our bucs. We’ve been that bad before, and it’s not a fun experience.

  2. Sesteprenelicus Says:

    Bobby Bowden used to talk about using the pass to set up the run. It seems the Bucs never do this, so teams can key on run on the first 2 downs for a few series.

  3. Hodad Says:

    How does the game dictate which RB you use? They’re basically the same back. Fourny catches a bit better, Rojo runs a bit better. No reason to give Fournette Rojo’s touches, unless he needs a blow. You got to pick a back, and ride him for awhile. Rojo barely gets warmed up, and Arains feels he needs to get Fourny his touches. Just like now AB gets Johnson’s, and Miller’s targets. We have to much that does to little.

  4. Conte Piscateli Says:

    My issue is that good teams scheme and game plan to dictate the way the game is played. In both Saints games, they were completely in control of “how the game was played” we played their game and lost both. This week the Rams came in with a plan to throw short passes to replace running the ball and it worked beautifully for them. Good coaches create a plan to be the team dictating how a game is played. If you are always the team making adjustments, that just means you are the poorly coached team that day.

  5. Pewter Power Says:

    The score was too close to go away from the run game. The coaches just suck and lack imagination. How many stubborn coaches can an owner hire in a decade it’s mind boggling. The game dictates? I can’t think of a single offense that allows a defense to dictate which starters get reps more than the Bucs.

    This coach is lying and they talk so much about how they let Brady pick plays he’s comfortable with. Is someone trying to tell me Brady hates running slant routes? We’re the only team in the nfl that doesn’t unless it’s a run route. The coach sucks

  6. Will Says:

    Conte you said it good teams have good coaches that scheme and dictate the game. I’ve said before I hate to hear BL say he wants things to happen organically. Which to me means I’m just going to call plays and see what happens. We’ve got too many weapons to not scheme guys open. Our offense doesn’t have any creativity which is OK against teams that aren’t that good but not against teams that have a good defensive scheme and pass rush. Our plays take to long to develop and our line will break down to soon and the out let pass to the backs isn’t working because Rojo and Fournette haven’t shown they can consistently catch and when Shady has got in he does to much dancing and juking and goes no where. BL needs to take the Arians offense and craft a Josh McDaniels hybrid and see how things open up. Arians vertical attack isn’t going to get it done. Yes we’ll have a better record but this offense isn’t a superbowl winning offense with this style of play. Didn’t we do all this because we want to win a superbowl?

  7. bojim Says:

    Well give RoJo the damn ball!!

  8. BucEmUp Says:

    Said it before the rams game started, bowles came out with soft zone for the firsy two quarters, bucs got behind and rojo was taken out of the game.

    Leftwich sucks and Arians is on my sh!t list now as well. Arians is doing a very poor job with this talent loaded roster.

    Brady should speak out…what are they gonna do bench him?

    Fire Leftwich!

  9. BucEmUp Says:

    Hofad, yes….scotty miller needs 5 to 6 more targets a game.This coaching staff is wasting the best roster this team.has ever and likely will ever have!

  10. Jmarkbuc Says:

    BA sure seems content with this OJT program…

    Once again starting to look like #paidFloridavacation

  11. ModHairKen Says:

    When a team runs the ball and does not get yardage and then everyone complains that they should have run the ball more, I have to wonder what the hell is wrong with them.

    The problem with the running game is the playcalling. It’s that simple. Leftwich is not good. Arians is wasting his time.
    The problem with the long balls is the play designs. Design plays to Brady’s strengths. It’s that simple.

    With a full year, this will get figured out and fixed. The question is who stays and goes. Funny thing is AB may stay and Godwin may go.

  12. D1 Says:


    Running game also suffers from lack of creativity, design is simple which isn’t a bad thing but it doesn’t work to create an advantage. Play calling is also a major problem.

    BL seems to believe 1st down is a nuisance, 2nd and 3rd downs are the important ones. That’s the only explanation I can think of as to why 1st downs are wasted regularly.

    The takeaway is that BA and BL believe in their scheme. They run the Offense and it’s up to the defense to stop them. Or the QB.

  13. Abklynkindaguy Says:

    D1 is 100% correct. We consistently waste 1st. down and then try to catch up on 2nd. & 3rd. And when your constantly trying to catch up, it doesn’t work. BL is one dimensional. Very poor play calling.

  14. Jeffbuc Says:

    I don’t know if every fan says this for every team. But I can with about 80% accuracy call if the bucs are running or passing. Last game was even easier for me. I would see Antonio brown come trotting off after first down and sure enough we would line up all in right and run it. Then he would trot back on the field.
    It seems we don’t run out of multiple sets. Like we always bring in the big package no matter field position or down. And run it. Very rarely do we still have 4 wide and run it. Never understand why we don’t do bunch right with 3 receivers and pitch left. And then work the play action off of that. Every thing seems so predictable to me a die hard fan who only watches the game live. I see it so defensive coordinators have to smile thinking about are run game.

    It’s really bad when like I said I’m about at 80% with calling what okay is coming. There is never a play where I am like damn that was a great play. Minus oj Howard’s rookie year where we leaked him out on the backside a couple of plays. It really seems like we have 10 plays we run over and over all game long. Just change left or right.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Brady’s strength during his entire career has always been the short passing game, and he’s almost always had a strong running game to play off of. The two go hand-in-hand IMO. New Orleans is a good example: their run-pass ratio is 46%. And Sean Payton is great IMO at mixing the two & keeping opponents off-balance.

    That’s all Brady has done all his career, and now at age 43 BA decides to change him to fit his strategy? Bucs have a tremendous collection of starting talent (depth is another story) that can steam-roll over ‘lesser’ teams. But against stronger defensive teams (Rams #2, Saints #8, Bears #6) we’ve struggled mightily.

    In the 7 games we’ve won, Bucs’ offense has scored an average of 35.9 PPG. That’s beastly. And in those same games, our defense has only allowed 19.1 PPG average. Only 1 win was truly close: the Giants game (25-23). Giants defense BTW ranks #12.

    In the 4 games we lost, Bucs’ offense has only scored an average of 17.3 PPG, over 18 pts average less than in our wins. That’s not pretty. And in those same games, our defense has allowed 29.8 PPG average. That’s not pretty either, although 2 of those losses (Bears & Rams) were by a combined total of only 4 pts. Saints had their way with us.

    It’s all easily fixed though IMO, as long as we don’t suffer any more critical injuries. PLAY TO OUR STRENGTHS. We’ve got a decent OLine & 2 very good RBs (maybe 3 if Vaughn ever gets a chance). We’ve got a QB who’s historically excellent at playing the short passing game. With our WRs, TEs & RBs we should be kicking arse. Now if our coaches will get their heads out of their own arses, maybe we can kick some other arse.

  16. Clean House Says:

    Here I’ll clear it all up for everyone. At the end of the day our coaching staff sucks.

  17. Clean House Says:

    There is smart, strategic, versatile, adaptable and creative coaching then there is the opposite of all that.

    We are in the opposite of all that category.

  18. Buc1987 Says:

    Clean House….7-4 on the way to 11-5 or 10-6 and wild card birth. How long has it been since anyone can say that or at least think it?

  19. unbelievable Says:

    Maybe some can ask the bullchit artist known as Bruce Arians how a running back is supposed to “get hot” when they only get 10 touches the entire game?