The Greatest Bucs Coach

March 31st, 2022

Former Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians.

Joe caught hell about this last night but there is just no way you can convince Joe otherwise. The evidence is there for all to read and see.

Former Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians is the greatest coach in Bucs history.

Better than Chucky. Better than John McKay. Better than Father Dungy.

Why? Again, it is obvious.

Arians took over a team that was the NFC’s fire hydrant in a dog park. The Bucs were pathetic. You know, the Lost Decade?

The Bucs had the worst home record in the NFC during the post-Chucky era, two winning seasons since Chucky was fired. That was 11 seasons (2009-2019) in which the Bucs only had two winning campaigns and just one double-digit-win season.

In Arians’ second year, in a pandemic, with a brand new albeit 43-year old quarterback, the Bucs won the Super Bowl. Epic!

Yeah, Chucky won a Super Bowl in his first year but he took over a playoff team. He only needed to build an offense. And after Chucky’s first season, the Bucs collapsed. In Arians’ third year, despite a massive headcase quitter and a horrible rash of injuries, the Bucs were “this close” to returning to the Super Bowl.

The more Joe thought of this last night, Joe would probably rank inaugural head coach John McKay ahead of Father Dungy. Why? McKay accomplished just as much as Father Dungy and he did it with an expansion team.

In those days, there was no free agency. So when launching the Bucs, all McKay had were rookies and other teams’ unwanted trash. In his fourth season, McKay had the Bucs in the NFC title game.

When Father Dungy arrived, he already had his holy trinity of defenders (Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and John Lynch). McKay had no such benefit. And like McKay, Father Dungy never got to a Super Bowl with the Bucs.

Joe hopes later today the Bucs announce that Arians will be inducted this fall into the Ring of Honor. It’s the right thing to do.

78 Responses to “The Greatest Bucs Coach”

  1. Proud Bucs Fan Says:

    Greatest Coattail riding head coach in Buc’s history.

  2. Pruritus Ani Says:

    So true Joe.. Sometimes people get so accustomed to winning, they forget what it was like to be perennial losers. He deserves all the accolades.. He did a good job and put together a good team. Winning coaches have a knack for being able to do that. Def a Ring of Honor.

  3. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Proud Butt Fan, we’re sorry Arians left you and your mama. Maybe you can get over it someday.

  4. westernbuc Says:

    His failure to develop Jameis (who regressed under BA) was disappointing and is a black mark on his record, but coaxing Brady to come to Tampa and winning a Super Bowl cures all. Arians 1, Gruden 2, McKay 3, Dungy 4. Raheem or Dirk might be 5. Yikes.

  5. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Tom Brady greatest Bucs HC.

  6. Buczilla Says:

    Arians is far and away our best coach ever.

  7. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Glad McKay is mentioned. That turnaround was remarkable, with the expansion rules then. The 79 team was mostly young players from their drafts, sprinkled with castoffs like Cotney, Giles, Crowder and Chambers.

  8. Mike C Says:

    Buco Bruce you were the best, let the h8ers hate!

  9. OHBucsFan Says:

    Fully agree. Now let’s hope that TB’s second turn at HC is similar to BB going from the Browns to resigning as the HC of the NYJ and becoming a legend in NE. People can learn from past experiences and BA became a great HC in his 60s.

  10. gotbbucs Says:

    Arians deserves credit for being the cool uncle that pops in from time to time to wrestle around with the little kids and buy beer for the high school aged boys and girls, but I’m not sure how much actual coaching he did at this stop.
    The role that he’s supposedly going to be in now without the head coaching title is basically the role he’s had the whole time he’s been here. It’s an important role no doubt. His biggest contribution I would say was being able to assemble a good solid staff of assistant coaches and recruiting players to join the squad.
    In that sense, honestly, what he actually did was probably more instrumental to winning the Super Bowl than anything he may have done from an X’s and O’s point of emphasis.
    We dont win the Super Bowl without Brady, and we don’t get Brady without Arians. Chicken and egg.

  11. Proud Bucs Fan Says:

    For the last few that are upset. Maybe they could place a cardboard cut out of Bruce arrians in a golf cart late in the day. It’ would be the same thing.

  12. Bird Says:


    Not sure about that take. If bucs resigned the former to extension or if arians thought the former would take another step forward , there is no brady. Arians knew the former was not the guy here anymore and it was time to move on and go all in to recruit the goat

    But who knows …if the former does something in NO without the best offensive mind in the game (payton) then sure …you can make that argument. I just don’t see it. And the former will be in a short leash now. Game managers thing of past with qbs making 50 mil a year …(i mean cousins is still making 35-40? And is soooooo average) and still being able to have a dominant defense like bucs and steelers and ravens of old

  13. gbobucsfan Says:

    Does this mean AB will be back now ? ?

  14. Onetrickpony Says:

    Brown back? Heck no. He didn’t just quit on coach, he quit on his team mates

  15. The Coroner Says:

    Proud Buc Fan. There are medications available for you. Who straightened out Leonard Fournette? Bruce Arians. Turned him into Playoff Lenny by giving him an ultimatum. Yep. BA. Not TB12.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    For those who want to continually trash Bruce Arians……well, he’s retried you got what you wished for……so be careful what you wished for and SHUT UP….

  17. Mike C Says:

    Fantastic point Coroner, and without Lenny no Lombardi.

  18. Curse of Gruden Says:

    I got up this morning expecting to read the Glazers sold the team to Justin Bieber. Crazy off season….

  19. NCBucfan Says:

    Dungy is the best coach in Buc history!

  20. ClodHopper Says:

    This boomer is a millennial whisperer that knows how to talk to young men. He knows what makes them tick. Football is an emotional game and he knows how to harness that emotion. Except for AB lol. He is the exception to the rule

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Joe…if you haven’t already, please clear up the issue on comp picks for hiring minority head coaches……does it apply to Bowles since he was promoted within?

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    Have no idea why some insist on comparing coaches or players from across different decades. John McKay faced a vastly different coaching challenge than did Bruce Arians. Same can be said of Tony Dungy IMO, and to a somewhat lesser degree Jon Gruden.

    MacKay had to build a team from SCRATCH in a day when the NFL draft was radically different. Dungy inherited a few pieces, especially on defense, but he had a lot of ‘building’ to do also. Gruden was able to build on that defense & get us a championship in his first year, but the ‘cost’ was quite high in terms of future team-building’.

    Bruce Arians did something very similar to what all 3 of those coaches accomplished, and he did it in his first 2 years. Could he have accomplished the same thing starting in 1976 under those rules and with Hugh Culverhouse as the Bucs’ owner? Personally I doubt it. Every decade has different challenges.

  23. Allen Lofton Says:

    BA laid the foundation for the new Bucs to succeed

  24. NCBucfan Says:

    I love BA! But let’s be honest, he didn’t really build the team! He brought in a 6 time SB champ that changed the culture here! Dungy did exactly that, he pioneered a defense that for his tenure is considered one of the best of all time! He is bad call(Burt Emanuel did catch it) from getting to the SB, and they would’ve won! My vote is Dungy!

  25. #8 Says:

    TBBF yeeees!!!

    BA isn’t going away…doesnt sound like he’s really changing what he’ll do. Sounds to me just a title change to work the system.

  26. DEEEMO Says:

    WOW….What a crazy off season 2022 has been so far! Almost as good as watching a Playoff Game. Not just with the Bucs but with the entire NFL. All of the QB changes, Free Agent movement…Just crazy!!!! I think BA did a lot of great things in his time as Head Coach of the Bucs and wish him nothing but the best in his new role. I hope health had nothing to do with the move up to the front office. After all the slamming Bowles took after the Rams loss (a lot of angry posts on this site BTW) I think he is going to do a great job as HC. Pretty sure we are going to have a defensive player draft now. LFG…

  27. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Bye Bye Felicia, Toilet Bowles REALLY!!! One loser to another. BA got the AB treatment. TB12 said losing is not permitted, not on my watch. That must of been one great movie BA went to. Adios Big Mouth,I guess bragging about NOT working and still getting paid isn’t good for job security.

  28. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Lovie Smith ?

  29. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Onetrickpony, didn’t BA just quit on his team???

  30. Onetrickpony Says:

    Listnfrmafar no and at least he didn’t do jumping Jack’s sideways like a crab

  31. DingleBerry Says:

    I was all aboard the Bruce Arians hype train in the offseason that he was signed to be our HC and he is certainly a legendary coach with an amazing resume.

    But nothing he’s accomplished here over the last 2 season happens unless Tom Brady chose to play with the roster the Licht built.

    So for that reason I don’t know if I can put him over Dungy.

    Dungy is still the great Bucs head coach. He hand crafted his roster and had this team competitively viable without a great QB for half a decade. And he would have been the first Bucs coach to win a SB if he and the team weren’t robbed in the 1999 NFC Championship game.

  32. Mike C Says:

    He has a better win percentage without Brady than that coach in Masshole land.

  33. Kansas95Buc Says:

    I know I’m late to the party but Tom Brady is the best HC the Bucs every had. In Brady We Trust

  34. Bucs&Bolts Says:

    Agreed put his name in the Ring

  35. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    I am so happy he was able to go out on top and was not forced out by health problems. Coach Arians will still be a participant in our next Super Bowls!

    Go Bucs!

  36. Sauron's eye Says:

    We should all be thanking BA for the job he has done. When he took over we sucked. Now we are at the top of the league. What else do you want from a coach. Between Arians and Licht we have had the best leadership in the NFL. Best coach in Bucs history.

  37. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Get ready for the constant bashing & trashing of Todd Bowles……along with the persistent rants about BA….even though he’s no longer HC….

    It very well be a product of obsessive compulsive behavior.

  38. Proud Bucs Fan Says:

    For the rubes out there, just know, that Bruce’s best accomplishment came when he was the most removed and had the least impact on the team.

  39. Brandon Says:

    People taking away from Arians’ by saying “He had Brady” seem to be forgetting that Dungy and Gruden had: Sapp, Brooks, Lynch, Barber, Rice, and Kiffin. Six guys that are either in or deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, and in their primes. That’s nearly half a D being HOF worthy and the best DC to ever walk the planet.

  40. Ozzie the Sports Junkie Says:

    Totally concur Joe…
    Arrians playoff record..Team consistently got better and he leaves it in WAY better shape than when he arrived..
    Im of the opinion that its 100% health based, the descion to back away from HC duties..BA had a freaking stress and blood pressure monitor attached to his chest every game for last 2 years!!!! ..He problply was told by doctors your playing with fire and his face is the poster child of a heart attack..But absolutely the greatest coach in Bucs history..What an Offseason !! Bucs remain top story in the sports pantheon…cant wait till draft day the FA they’ve brought in and the ones they’ve let go (No J Howard) Stole a 3 time SB winning guard from Pats and Gage a budding superstar at WR …Rojo can go NOT BLOCK AN DROP SWING PASSES FROM MAhOMES he had one decent year IMO..BA to the ROH THIS YEAR!!!

  41. mike Says:

    Lots of idiots in the comments. BA is Best Buc of all time. When you look at what he walked into and the state of the franchise now… amazing. Pulled the trigger on Jameis, the goat wanted to play for him, the goat came back to his team, groomed two sucessfull coaches, traded no capital away or over pay free agents.
    Thank you BA!!!!!!!!!

  42. Eric Says:

    I still give the title to Dungy.

    He took over a far worse team and didn’t have the greatest QB of all time fall in his lap.

    Not that Bruce hasn’t done a good job, but it was hardly a rebuild.

  43. Buc king Says:

    It definitely was not dungy..Monte kiffen was the d cord…
    Bruce then Jon..

  44. Buc king Says:

    Trophies talk n that bull$hit walks

  45. Buc king Says:

    Bruce then gruden question

  46. Obie-Wan Says:

    Jameis was a lost cause and Arians knew there was no remedy.

  47. SB~LV Says:

    Sure…he did it with Dirk’s team

  48. Marine Buc Says:

    #1) Bruce Arians – .633 win % – (1) Super Bowl
    #2) Tony Dungy – .563 win % – brought respectability to Tampa
    #3) Jon Gruden – 57 wins – (1) Super Bowl – looked cool growling on sidelines
    #4) John McKay – 9 years – Best one liners in NFL history
    #5) Sam Wyche – Good coach – horrible teams.

  49. David Says:

    Then I’m not sure.
    What McKay did with what he had to work with was impressive.
    Dungy helped build the Defense and attitude.
    Gruden got them a Super Bowl.

    Gruden has a Super Bowl, so that carries a lot of weight. BUT I think he is the worst coach of the bunch. I love Gruden, but I think he is vastly overrated and has never developed a young player, especially a quarterback, in his life.

  50. Joe Says:

    His failure to develop Jameis

    Dude threw for over 5,000 yards. Good grief.

  51. Listnfrmafar Says:

    TBBF, thanks for the introduction. Riddle me this Batman, why is it that Brady has NEVER denied there was dissention between BA and him???

    Onedickpony, no taking off his shirt or jumping jacks for both BA’s health and those watching. Kicked to the curb, enjoy your temporary BS office job located in the basement of Raymond James stadium.

  52. Proud Bucs Fan Says:

    Dude threw for over 5,000 yards. Good grief.

    So what. And Rojo could have ran for 2000 yards if he said “keep running” and ran the ball every play! If you think that is ring of honor coaching, Good Grief indeed.

  53. Jmarkbuc Says:


    No indication that Jameis can be developed, by anyone.

    I’d go with Marine’s list , but flip #1and#2. Dungy didn’t inherit Kiffin, as stated above. Kiffin was hired by Dungy to implement the D ( actually Bud Carson’s) that was brought from Minnesota. Don’t forget Tony replaced Monte as DC in Minny.

    Tony did more to turn around the worst franchise in sports than BA did by landing TB12. IMHO. That defense was bone chilling .

  54. Formerly Tampa 2 Says:

    Joe, To hear you say BA is ridiculous. Time makes one forget a lot of rights and wrongs. Jon Gruden was the best Coach the Bucs ever had and I will tell you why. You seem to forget OWNERS, and and we have certainly have had some bad ones, yes, including our current owners, before they wised up. The only really good owner the Bucs have ever had was Malcom Glazer. We certainly had some bad coaches between Mckay and Dungy. Culverhouse was by far the worst owner in history. When his wife sold to Glazer was the best thing ever for the Bucs. Malcolm Glazer wanted to win and knew what it took. Mckay had nothing to work with when he came to work with “miser” Mr.C. and he was good as it could be expected. In between Mckay and Dungy were run of the mill Coaches. But Dungy was a defensive coach and all the great players Dungy picked or traded for were for the defense. Dungy never could get “to the next level” because of his offense. Thus, Malcolm made the big trade for Gruden, and while many claim Gruden won with Dungy’s team, (that is bullspit). Gruden, in his 1st year, brought in 18 or 28 players can’t remember at my old age) and took them to the SB. Malcolm, soon after, went into a coma and his kids “went Culverhouse” on the Bucs and withheld money from Gruden. I was later shown that the kids wanted to buy the Manchester U. soccer team across the pond and needed all the Bucs money they could sqeeze out of the Bucs coffers, essentially crippling Gruden. It was a miracle the Gruden got the bucs in the play-offs as much as he did. I could say much more, Including about Joes good friend that Started the Radio campaign to fire Gruden, But Gruden Was clearly the best Coach the Bucs ever had.

  55. Natron Says:

    Just for the fact that he got Jameis and GMC jettisoned from the team might make him the best Bucs coach ever

  56. westernbuc Says:

    Joe yes I agree on that point but he never threw close to 30 ints until BA showed up, that’s the regression I’m talking about. I think the QB whisperer mismanaged him.

    Jmark Jameis was on his way to beating us before he was hurt. They were 5-2 before he went down and he had the highest passer rating of his career. Small sample size for sure but that’s development. We’ll see if he can sustain it

    Bird I don’t buy that BA totally gave up on Jameis. He was the third option behind the GOAT and Teddy Bridgewater. Licht and BA were on the hot seat and needed to make a change. Lucky for them Tom Brady saved them from having to go with Jameis or Bridgewater

  57. David Says:

    Formerly Tampa 2

    I would take BA then Dungy or McKay before Gruden. Gruden is one of the most overrated coaches in NFL history.

    He couldn’t figure out how to use two pro bowl caliber receivers at the same time. He couldn’t figure out how to pound the rock with Alstott even though he preached “pound the rock“. For all the hype about him with quarterbacks, he could never develop a quarterback no matter where he was at. He had to get an old vet who already knew how to play. Yes, His energy and changes on offense helped get the Bucs Super Bowl, but the vast majority of it was their defense which he had nothing to do with.

  58. RPK Says:

    BA Before Brady: 7-9

    Laziest Coach in Bucs History

  59. nick houllis Says:

    I agree that John McKay has slight nod over Tony Dungy. every so slight, maybe tied, because its easier to create winning from nothing, than to turn LOSING into winning like Dungy did. the Bucs were FAR worse off in 1996 since 83, than they were in 2019 since 2009. At least the Bucs HAD 2 winning seasons. Dungy took over team with 14 straight losing seasons. all but one double digit losing seasons. McKay had Bucs relevant in year 3, flirting with .500 until midway through 78 season rookie Qb Doug Williams jaw was broken. unlike Dungy, with McKay one side of the ball did not eclipse the other side. Defense was dominant, but offense was good. With Dungy the offense was… wait. What offense?

  60. ModHairKen Says:

    McKay also was a fearless judge of talent. He had no qualms about executing a blockbuster trade that brought the second greatest QB in franchise history to this team less than 14 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    McKay was a man. A great man.

  61. GOB Says:

    You people were told that Brady wouldn’t play for Arians again. Spin it whatever way you like.

  62. Show Me the TDs Says:

    Fully agree. “You play to win the game!”

  63. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Even though both Grunden and Tony Dungy are my customers
    (We cleaned their roofs), I still have to agree that Arians is the best coach Tampa has ever had.
    I am also glad to see McKay mentioned in this discussion.

  64. Natron Says:

    Bruce cured Cancer 93!

  65. Lamarcus Says:

    Dungy. Is not even close

  66. Aaron Says:

    Have to say Tony Dungy made that team before grunden took over grunden couldn’t do anything with Oakland the first time are the second he isn’t a good coach it have to be Tony dungy the best bucs 1 pretty much all time

  67. TDTB2022 Says:

    Worthy of ROH this year!!!

  68. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Gruden and Bruce Allen drove this team into the gutter, lets get that straight. Horrible drafts, horrible free agents and Gruden lost touch with the players. G

  69. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Glazers were putting cash out. Losing Rich McKay was a gut punch too. Had them drafting well and rolling. f’n allen/gruden administration was rotten.

  70. mike Says:

    @blahak… Mckay was terrible. He’s the reason we were in cap hell. He gave every Buc way too much and that’s why we lost Sapp, Lynch ect too soon. Mckay would let us draft westbrook and that was the final straw.

  71. Jmarkbuc Says:


    Agree to disagree. McKay putting us in “cap Hell” was Gruden disinformation. Caps can be manipulated, look at the last two years alone.

    If Tony had been given one more year, this team would have been Steeler-esque.
    In it every year and multiple Championships. And Defense.

    Btw, for anyone who’s counting Dungy’s offenses during his tenure averaged right around half a point per game less than offensive wizard Gruden did in his tenure.

  72. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Sapp and

  73. Bruce Blahak Says:

    and Lynch left under Gruden/Allen, no?

  74. Buc1987 Says:

    Formerly Tampa 2…I concur about Gruden.

    I think it was 28 new players.

    Arians is 2nd though…

    Then Dungy.

  75. Jmarkbuc Says:

    In 14 seasons Jon Gruden had 6 winning seasons. His career record is 117-112.

  76. Kondolinni Says:

    If not for Tony Dungy, there would have been no modern era for The Bucs. I, for one, will always be grateful that Malcolm Glazer had the foresight to hire someone like Dungy. What he did, and what he accomplished went far beyond the field. Before Tony Dungy, The Bucs were the biggest joke in The NFL. After him, they were, if not among the talking heads on ESPN and Fox, then certainly among players and staff, one of the premiere locations to land in the league.

    Say what you like about ownership. Teams wax and wane. The Bucs are on the rise. So ownership at least has the snap to get the most out the current situation. It’s great. I love it. I plan to ride the train until the very end of the line. And when it’s all done, I’ll still be a Bucs fan.

    15 years isn’t all that long to wait for another Super Bowl, really. I’ll be 75.

    See you all in 2036.

  77. Esteban85 Says:

    So BA has one year with Winston, which produced massive yards and picks, decides he needs to find a better QB to fit his all star caliber team and that’s a black mark on his career? Winston got his chance and squandered it, screwing around with Uber drivers and losing any respect he ever had. Now he’s trying to rehab his opportunities. BA got his chance and cashed in buddy and he’s a smart head coach for it.

  78. Eddie Marz Says:

    Yogi was asked once “what makes a good manager”? Yogi replied “good players”. Still true. GOBUCS!