“Doing The Script For The First 15 Plays”

September 8th, 2021

Bruce Arians speaks

No matter how often Bucco Bruce Arians likes to say he’s hands-off the Tampa Bay offense and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich deserves the glory, something inevitably pops up to make Joe wonder whether that’s accurate.

Consider what Arians told CBS Sports Radio last week about the unselfish mentality of the Bucs offense.

“Nobody’s like, ‘I gotta have this. I gotta have so many touches,” Arians said. “Doing the script for the first 15 plays, I don’t think about, ‘Hey, I have to get this guy a ball or he won’t play any faster.’ You know, it’s nothing like that. Tom does a great job of spreading the ball around. They know that, hey, if you bitch about it, you probably aren’t going to get it.”

Joe loves how all those weapons co-exist and thrive. It’s an NFL rarity. But after getting that warm vibe, Joe has to wonder why Arians is talking about himself scripting the first 15 plays if he isn’t heavy-handed with the offense.

There are many other recent examples to make any fan wonder what exactly is the division of power within the offense.

Regardless, it’s all working wonderfully.

Arians added that the team-first mentality in the loaded receivers room starts and ends with No. 13.

“Mike Evans sets the tempo there. He’s the most unselfish star I’ve ever been around,” Arians said.

Enjoy The Ira Kaufman Podcast.

21 Responses to ““Doing The Script For The First 15 Plays””

  1. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Seems like BA likes to run on first down. It was pretty predictable last season.
    Hope the Bucs pass more than runs this season. They did much better in the games where the Bucs had a much higher parentage of passing.

  2. MidAtlanticBucsFan Says:

    @AlabamaBucsFan – Thanks for your analysis. Much appreciated.

  3. Mike Says:

    Maybe that’s his contribution on offense, he gets to plan out and script the first 15 plays of the game, then BL takes it from there? I would think it’s probably very collaborative between him, BL and probably some input from Brady as well.

  4. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    I love how you all fall for that shtick from him and blame BL for everything you don’t like what this offense does. This is Arian’s offense not BL’s. He never changed it for ANY qb no matter how many interceptions they threw, and has even said he wouldn’t. It was the same way in Arizona as it was here when ATM threw a universal record picks. It wasn’t until Tom Brady put his foot down and reasoned with Mr. Arrogance that they had to change before it got better. If we had any other qb we wouldn’t have made the playoffs last year because only Brady could’ve done what he did. At times he talks out both sides of his mouth and you know this but still fall hook line and sinker just because you think he’s a “straight shooter”. How’d welcome back Koetter do for you???

  5. PSL Bob Says:

    Mike, I agree. BA gets things rolling and then BL takes over the rest of the game.
    Also, Mike Evans is the star. What an unselfish player at a position typically occupied by prima donnas. Will be wearing his jersey tomorrow night.

  6. Iamabuc Says:

    With all this being said…. I believe that right now, Brady is ready for the “No risk-it, no biscuit” phase of Arians offense. Look out, World!!!

  7. Listnfrmafar Says:

    I believe the run on first downs was mainly due to Brady needing to get familiar with playback and receivers. Running prevents him from getting g hit while trying to figure it out.

  8. Brandon Says:

    Running sets up play-action, play-action was where the offense shined the most last season… Plus, Rojo running the ball was predictable… if him running is predictable, 5.1 yards per carry is quite a feat. The arm chair coaches need to stick with what they know best, their arm chairs.

  9. PassingThru Says:

    It’s a collaborative effort between Arians, Leftwich and Brady. You have to commend the three for working together last season. The offense did change, but it was a smooth transition and none of the three stood up and said, “See what I did?”

    Scripting plays is common in the NFL, especially for an opening series. You’re setting the tone, and you’re trying to exploit either known weaknesses or probing for potential weaknesses in your opponent’s defense. Every head coach will ask for a plan or script from the OC, and will likely make modifications as they see fit. I wouldn’t expect anything less out of any coaching staff.

  10. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Got to love the hypocrites!

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    @PSL Bob … “BA gets things rolling and then BL takes over the rest of the game.”

    Gut feel is that folks are reading too much into what BA said. Most likely BL and the offensive staff comes up with a gameplan, to include scripting the first 15 plays. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if Tom Brady was in that group too. Once they’re all satisfied with it, then they go to BA and say ‘Whatchathink Boss?’

    And BA, being BA, tells them.

  12. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Could you imagine this team with a good ground game? The defenses wouldn’t know whether to crap of blind. How about that strong offensive line open a hole from time to time.

  13. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Or go blind.

  14. AMI_Chris Says:

    Focus on the big picture here: Brady comes in last year, everyone buys into his message because of his incredible Super Bowl pedigree. In Year 1, they win it all, validating the message even further. This year, everyone’s back so…why not do it again? Gotta get a little lucky with health but I’m seeing the same focus as I did with the Lightning after their first Cup. I can’t remember expectations and excitement being this high since the beginning of the 2003 season.

  15. sasquatch Says:

    I don’t know why the division of responsibility seems to be a continuing curiosity. It seems like there’s an effort to take credit away from Byron Leftwich. Sure they’re running BA’s offense with TB12 adjustments, but I take them all at their word when they say Byron calls the shots, but game planning is a democratic process with this staff.

  16. JimmyJack Says:

    What we know is that Byron is the one calling the plays. And yeah Arians is a big part of the gameplan and design, seem naive to think otherwise…….Hes says hes hands off, thats coach speak for saying Byron deserves to be head coach in the league.

    But what matters is what there doing works. We saw the offense grow and get better last year and look out if its grown since last Feburary.

    And sorry freaks this is Bruces offense. Not Tom Bradys. We didnt throw out our playbook in week 13 and learn a whole new one. Its was still Bruces vertical offense and not at all rational to think we were running new plays that we hadent been preparing to use.

  17. ocala Says:

    I am hopeful the Bucs set up the run with the pass. Pass heavily depending on down and distance the first drive and then start giving the defense something to think about with some run plays after.

    One thing I think most fans want from a play calling perspective is to get rid of the A and B gap runs to start drives early in the game.

  18. Rod Munch Says:

    “AlabamaBucsFan Says:
    September 8th, 2021 at 9:16 am
    Seems like BA likes to run on first down. It was pretty predictable last season.”

    You mean Leftwich, he’s the one calling the plays. It’s Arians who publicly called out Leftwich in 2019 after, what, game 5 or so, and said open up the play calling and stop being so predictable.

    Arians is still balls to the wall – no riskit, no biscuit. But what people don’t seem to get is Leftwich is a 1977 run first, 3 yards and a cloud of dust, type of play caller. If he gets a head coaching job somewhere else and has full control, people will be complaining about how incredibly conservative his offenses are – just wait and see.

    BUT the issue with the Bucs is predictability. They don’t need to run less or anything, just mix up the order, don’t always call the same run in the same situation, nearly every single time. If they just called that run up the middle on 2nd down, instead of first down, if they used more play action passes, if defenses weren’t putting 8 men in the box because they knew it was a run in predictable situations, the run game would be a lot more effective.

  19. DaBux Says:

    I bet that script has the “audible when you feel like it” after each play.

  20. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Rod Munch Says: You mean Leftwich, he’s the one calling the plays. It’s Arians who publicly called out Leftwich in 2019 after, what, game 5 or so, and said open up the play calling and stop being so predictable.

    Sure we can say Leftwich but like the article title hints, the first series of plays are scripted. I bet they are more BA plays than Leftwich. Leftwich just runs them on gameday.

  21. Rod Munch Says:

    AlabamaBucsFan – I think at this point in his career, Arians mostly lets his coaches do their thing and only inserts himself if he absolutely needs to. I could be wrong. If they come out and play action on the opening play, like the also ultra-predictable Dirk did vs the Eagles on the first play of the game for a TD, then you’ll know Arians put his foot down.