Bruce Arians: Fear Of Failure Prompted Move

September 11th, 2021

Strong night from Jaydon Mickens

Not exactly a vote of confidence here from Bucco Bruce Arians.

All summer the head coach sang the praises of rookie fourth-round-pick receiver/returner Jaelon Darden, who was drafted primiarily to contribute this season as a fourth-down specialist.

Arians even went so far to laud his experience at the University of North Texas. (When it got to that point, that’s when Joe spit up chocolate milk on the floor of world headquarters.

In the end, though, Arians got off his one-man bandwagon and promoted Super Bowl returner Jaydon Mickens from the practice squad Thursday morning.

Mickens proceeded to have a strong night not only returning, but also in coverage.

“Jaelon’s done a heck of a job but I’m not going to let him fail as a rookie,” Arians said. “He’s got such a great, great future. We wanted as much veteran presence on that field as we possibly could, knowing the situation and the intensity of the game. ‘Mick’s’ been there and done it. It’s not a thing against Jaelon, it’s just more a guy that’s been there and done it.”

Ironic words from Arians, and they don’t bode too well for Darden. Why? Because every Bucs game this season (much like last season) is going to be loaded with intensity.

Darden was inactive on Thursday and overall special teams played well, so he might be in street clothes for a good while.

In the end, the best man won the competition, which is the way it should be.

23 Responses to “Bruce Arians: Fear Of Failure Prompted Move”

  1. Medicated Pete Says:

    Pete can’t thank Bruce enuff for that gut instinct call. We needed every yard we got. And how about that 80yd punt by Pinion. Never seen a ball travel that far in the air except the 1 time Pete punted a ball during hurricane Andrew that ended up landing in Tallahassee

  2. ClodHopper Says:

    “Not going to let him fail as a rookie”

    BA has a knack for the psyche. He’s so in tune with his teams mentality. He’s successfully walked that line many times already.

  3. Steven007 Says:

    Clod, correct. Coach obviously saw a look in the rookies eyes that he didn’t like. Can’t afford that on opening night and frankly can’t afford that period. Maybe that changes during the course of the season, I suppose we’ll see.

  4. August 1976 Buc Says:

    BA he does not want to let the kid screw up on National Television, he just did not trust the Kid in this situation. Smart Bruce.

    Saw Bradley and Succop on Pat McAfee, did not realize Bradley is 6’6 250, thats big punter.
    The way he hit that 65 yard bomb out at the 2 was awesome, and the 2 other times he pinned the Cowgirls inside the 10. Serious weapon.

    That was the best I can remember the special teams playing for the Bucs.

    All the comments about getting rid of the special teams go out the window now lol

    Bradley is reminding me of the Dolphins Reggie “Elephant Leg” Roby.
    Anyone remember Roby blasting the ball above the stadium rims?
    I also remember he would wear a watch to know his hang time. lol That is nuts if you have to make a tackle.

    GO BUCS!!!!!!!

  5. August 1976 Buc Says:

    All the comments about getting rid of the special teams Coach go out the window now lol

  6. webster Says:

    Translation darden is a 4th round rookie and we can bring him along slowly without pressure of him having to succeed right away. He will have his opportunities to help this team as the season goes on. Not that hard to understand really

  7. Evolvingbucsfan Says:

    Mickens has more vision to see the field that Darden does from what i have seen since preseason to Thursday night when comparing them. Darden has probably more elusive capabilities than Mickens but Mickens has great burst and gives him the edge with his vision upfield IMO, Darden just tries to juke everyone THEN tries to get upfield and i think Arians realized that too. Also saw better blocking and that always helps to give them space to run just need to stop those illegal blocks or holding calls, ugh.

  8. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Don’t read so much into this. Arians commented he was not going to let Darden fail as a rookie and he wanted the veteran presence on the field. Kyle Trask was in street clothes for the same reason: There was a veteran(s) available who they felt could get the job done better. Much bigger contrast but it’s EXACLTY the same principle. Yes, I expect Darden will, and should be in street clothes until circumsances change. Why would anyone with an ounce of sense think or want otherwise? An injury to Mickens or another WR could change things. Let’s hope they don’t. Darden will get his chance in time.

  9. Doctor Stroud Says:

    The coach’s move was wise. We all know what happened when (the bad) Dexter Jackson (a 2nd rounder) was thrust into special teams duties too soon.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Plenty of time to develop Darden…..

  11. BerrickDrooks Says:

    Mick was the right choice.

  12. buxszntkt Says:

    Everyone around section 109 was frustrated with Mickens running back balls in the end zone, then he breaks one for a huge gain, lol !

  13. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Mickens did his best job I have ever seen as a return man.
    He looked really good.

  14. Crickett Baker Says:

    Heh. I told you guys Darden looked scared, to me, when he was ready to return. Arians and I must have had the same view.

  15. tvan101 Says:

    I think Arians and Licht knew that Darden would never clear waivers to get to the practice squad but Mickens would and then they could change things accordingly.

  16. Deeznutz Says:

    Mickens so far thru week 1 is our guy!

  17. David Says:


    Exactly. As much as I would like to see him return punts , him and the Notre Dame lineman are going to be a part of this team for many years. No reason to rush them right now when they are not needed.

  18. David Says:

    Tryon, Trask, Hainsey, Darden, maybe even Britt…..

    It’s pretty incredible, the depth that they have. Look at those names, they basically had 5 rounds of draft picks that are all for the future.
    Tryon will play but all of them are about the future. What an incredible position to be in considering where the team was 3-4 years ago

  19. Joe Says:

    Translation darden is a 4th round rookie and we can bring him along slowly without pressure of him having to succeed right away.

    Bingo. The Bucs are not about development (this year). They are about results. Mickens got results. Darden is a blank page waiting to be painted.

  20. Hodad Says:

    I don’t care why he did it just glad he did. The kid might be great in the future, but for now Mickens is the man.

  21. unbelievable Says:


    I immediately thought of how he’s handled ROJo, and have to wonder if Darden perhaps has a fragile Psyche as well?

    Not too worried as he’s only a 4th rounder.

    Mickens might have had his best game too.

  22. SteveM Says:

    A different story. The Bucs need to improve their secondary pass
    defense as evidenced from the game with Dallas.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Every team has a suspect secondary if you think about it.
    Yes Dak threw 4 400 but that won’t be the last time he does it.

    Defense learned a ton I’m sure, but I would expect the ball to come out quick all year against this defense.

    I mean Dak watched the Super Bowl too.
    Managing Press reps for a secondary over the long haul is the challenge.