Bruce Arians Disputes Notion You Have To Run The Ball To Win In The Playoffs

December 31st, 2020

Bucco Bruce Arians speaks

Joe loves when Bucco Bruce Arians gets candid.

He did that last night.

You’ve heard the pundits, including the ex-player talking heads. You gotta be able to run the ball in December and January to get to February!

Arians is not buying the philosophy, he said adamantly on SiriusXM NFL Radio last night.

The Bucs’ head coach stressed how his team has been fantastic at protecting the football and has grown immensely when it comes to discipline and penalties. That, Arians said, is the magic formula.

“I think that’s what it takes, you know, a lot of people think you have to run the ball and you have to do this [and that]. You gotta score points and you gotta be discipline and protect the football to win in the playoffs,” Arians barked.

Still, Arians said getting Ronald Jones back on Sunday “will be huge.” RoJo will wear a “modified cast” on his left hand and he’s mostly a “right-hand ball toter,” and can still catch with the cast. And Arians praised the depth at running back.

As Joe has said and written many times, Tom Brady didn’t come here — and didn’t demand Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski join him — to hand the ball off.

Running is great. Play-action only works when there’s a legitimate threat, and the Bucs have that. But the Bucs are going to ride their passing weapons as far as they’ll take them.

21 Responses to “Bruce Arians Disputes Notion You Have To Run The Ball To Win In The Playoffs”

  1. Marine Buc Says:

    I honestly don’t think it would be that bad to just rest ROJO for one more week. He is already a below average pass catcher and is prone to fumble at times. Now he is playing with a cast? No thanks.

  2. bucfanforever Says:

    Maybe he can catch better with the cast.

  3. Gofortheface30 Says:

    And I agree, I dunno if it’s nostalgia with the older crowd with how the game used to be played, or stubbornness or I dunno what but why run 50% of the time if most of your “runs” are akin to running in to a brick wall for a one yard gain. We have the best receiving group in the NFL. Use them, you put the ball in to the hands of your best, highest paid weapons. Period, end of story. Oh look, we get back to establishing mike Evans as the clear cut number one receiver by giving him the GD ball and look what happens. Ya ya, I know give it to Fournette for your little 2 yard game so there can be some semblance of a play action – but it doesn’t mean you cut your nose despite fly our face and just run it 30 times a game. We are going in to 2021. The good teams throw. Thrownearly, throw often. Get it to gronk, Godwin, Evans, that’s how this team is built.

  4. TheBradyBunch Says:

    Kind of agree marine. Also Vaughn looked very good last week. Would like to see more of him to determine if we should lean on him as our #2 back in the playoffs.

  5. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Lol… if you can’t run the ball at will at the end of the year your chances are GREATLY diminished…
    passing becomes harder and more predictable
    Running becomes harder too
    That part of football at the end of the the year in the Playoffs ( Wildcard is not Playoffs)
    The teams you will be facing have powerful running and passing games
    Stupidest thing BA has said in his time here

  6. Steven007 Says:

    The way I look at it is we have a nearly 70% chance of getting close to 8 yards with every pass. That obviously trumps the average run. Though I do still believe that the running game is important and has its place obviously. But facts are facts.

  7. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Look at it from another angle, running the ball keeps your defense fresh and keeps the ball out of the opposing QB’s hands.

  8. Mitch Says:

    I think turnovers are a big deal. I also think rushing is huge. Passing teams get a lot of garbage yards. When you run the ball effectively you are in control of the game as evidence by 9 out the top 12 teams in rushing could make the playoffs this year whereas only 5 of the top 12 passing teams are in the playoff contention this year. There’s a balance for sure, and the Bucs are supremely talented on the outside, but I really think leaning on Rojo, fournette, and Vaughn is a good idea.

  9. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    RoJo NEEDS touches both running and receiving to get used to his bum hand, that will be an issue both him the rest of the the season…. he needs to get comfortable with his new grip

  10. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    There is still time but that was a massive boneheaded post up tread… it’s what happens when you pop off after reading a few lines of the article and think you read something that was not written 🥵😳🤯🤬

  11. JWBucs Says:

    Looking forward to the final regular season game on Sunday…. Go Bucs and defeat the Falcons!

  12. Topdoggie Says:

    Passing has taken over. But the was never more excitement to a play than when the handed off to Alstott and he plowed for 15 yards with defenders riding on his back like kids.

  13. PSL Bob Says:

    Dewey’s got a great point. The best defense is to keep the opposing offense off the field. Running effectively slows the game down and eats up clock.

  14. Hodad Says:

    Tell that to the Titans, and Henry. Even G.B. brought it’s running game in the snow last week. A team that can’t run the ball is to one dimensional to win in the playoffs, so I’m going to disagree with coach here. And please, sit Rojo.

  15. Beej Says:

    RoJo STILL catches a far higher percentage of passes than Jerry Jeudy, whose ONLY JOB IS catching passes….so there’s that

  16. UKBuccaneer Says:

    A respectable run game is desirable in order to set up playaction and run the clock, but when was the last time a 3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust team won a super bowl?

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    @Arians … “You gotta score points and you gotta be discipline and protect the football to win in the playoffs.” Duh. Doesn’t that apply in every game? BA probably should’ve added ‘And oh ya, we have to protect Tom Brady to win’.

    Bucs’ offense has come together nicely over these last 3 wins, and so has our defense. We started slowly against the Vikings (Punt-Punt-then 4 scores in a row) and against the Falcons (Punt-Punt-Punt-Punt-then 5 scores in a row), but pounced on the Lions early (5 TDs in the 6 first half drives). THAT’S what we need to carry into this Sunday’s game against the Falcons & into the playoffs.

    Against the Vikings, BOTH of the first 2 drives ended with incomplete DEEP passes on 3rd down. Although we only had the ball for 49 plays (21 mins TOP), we made them count. Bucs ran the ball 26 times & passed only 23 times … a 53% run-pass ratio. Statistically we got outplayed offensively, but came away with a convincing 26-14 win. Hmmm, 14 pts allowed in 39 mins TOP. Not too shabby.

    Against the Falcons, we changed our approach and went with the short passes a bunch in the 1st half (only 3 runs by Fournette, all on 1 series, and only 2 deep passes, both incomplete, on another series). Did a lousy job of protecting Brady (2 sacks ended 2 drives). 1st half result was predictable: Punt-Punt-Punt-Punt and trailing 17-0 at the half. Once we got back to a more balanced attack in the 2nd half … and protected Brady … the points started pouring in. Decent defensive effort in that game, allowing the Falcons 27 points in the game, but only 10 in the 2nd half which was critical to the victory.

    Against the Lions … nah, too easy. Their inability to protect against the deep pass was obvious, and Brady used that to light them up for 4 TDs in the 1st half. We did get back to a much more balanced attack in the 2nd half though. And oh ya, defense pitched a shutout in that one (even though statisticians count the 7-pt punt return against the defense).

    So in these last 3 victories, we’ve scored 104 points (almost 35 PPG) while holding our opponents to 48 points (16 PPG average). Now to continue it against Atlanta on Sunday. THAT’S the way to go into the playoffs.

  18. m0j0 Says:

    Put some stickem on that cast Royo!

  19. Cobraboy Says:

    The NFL is a passing league.

    A running game that dominates is extremely rare and always has been.

    The purpose of a running game is to keep defenses honest and LBs close to the LoS, opening up areas downfield. That’s where play-action comes in.

    If the running game was that important vis-a-vis passing, you wouldn’t see pass rushers valued so highly, you’d see the Vita Vea’s of the world busting salary caps.

    I agree with Arians: scoring points, limiting turnovers, and rushing the passer is how you win in the NFL…especially the playoffs.

    But I state the obvious…

  20. SOEbuc Says:

    Oh my God I would hope this is smoke, but with this coaching it wouldn’t surprise me if they gave RoJo 20 carries for 100+ yards in the first game and then nine carries the next round. Bucs must be able to use a balanced offense to win in the playoffs.

  21. Brevard Buc Says:

    You can throw yourself out of a game. Yes, you need it to come back, but quick offensive possessions could mean more time for your defense on the field.

    Its called play action for a reason. Why make yourself one dimensional at the start of any game.

    That idea is ludicrous. That is like saying punting is not important. Its not the only thing you do on special teams but damn if it isn’t important.

    It’s part of the game and in your playbook!
    Take what the defense gives! Don’t be a rock head!!

    The demise of a coach in the NFL is the ” I am smarter than the room mentality “!