Bruce Arians Talks Fixing Errors & Losing Leaders

May 29th, 2023

Was Todd Bowles too soft on our beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense last season, including Tom Brady and playcaller Byron Leftwich?

It’s a good question. It seemed like Bowles was far too hands-off as the running game languished and points were hard to come by.

It never felt like Bowles sat Brady and Leftwich down with key players and coaches and said, ‘Let’s overhaul the damn thing now if we have to. We can’t win a Super Bowl like this and that’s the only reason we’re here.’

Of course, Joe doesn’t have a seat in the meeting rooms at One Buc Palace and Bowles was in a very challenging spot after not starting as head coach until April, and with a strong-willed living legend at quarterback.

Bucco Bruce Arians did an interview on KMVP radio in Arizona earlier this year and talked about hard coaching and how necessary it is.

“I think you have to be demanding. If it’s not perfect, you gotta fix it,” Arians said. “So I think the really good ones all are.”

Arians added it’s easy to coach in good times but the real challenges come while losing.

So was Bowles “demanding” the offense find fixes? That’s unclear. But it is clear Bowles knew massive change was necessary as Leftwich and other assistants were fired in a hurry in January.

Arians thinks the Bucs’ woes last season were about injuries first and foremost.

“Because when you take Ryan Jensen out, I mean that’s the heartbeat of the offensive [line], the whole running game, the toughness,” Arians said. “And Robert Hainsey came in and did a nice job, but it’s not the same when you take an All-Pro guy out, and he’s a leader. We lost Shaq Barrett. We lost some leaders, not just injury. We lost some key guys.”

Joe will losing Jensen and Shaq cost the Bucs two victories last season. Joe thinks if those guys were healthy, then the Bucs would have been 10-6 going into the final meaningless game.

That doesn’t mean the Bucs would have beaten Dallas in the playoffs and and marched to the Super Bowl. But it would have meant lot less fans ready to throw Bowles off the pirate ship.

37 Responses to “Bruce Arians Talks Fixing Errors & Losing Leaders”

  1. HC Grover Says:

    Go away Bruce.

  2. BucsFanSince 1996 Says:

    It’s easy to say “next man up” but losing Ali Marpet to retirement and then losing Ryan Jensen & Aaron Stinnie to injuries was devastating to the Buc’s offense given that our QB is pretty much immobile.

    While the OC was also deserving of some criticism for how pathetic our offense was and his inability and/or unwillingness to make adjustments, the situation with the o-line certainly would have been a challenge for ANY OC.

  3. J Says:

    Go away, Grover.

  4. Go Bucs Says:

    I agree with Bruce, it’s not easy and the O line being patched up didn’t help.

  5. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Go away Bruce? Come back Bruce more like it. The guy has been cash money for the Bucs…his downfall is loyalty to his guys to a fault.

  6. Tye Says:

    The ROOT cause of the losing was Bowels was to present!

  7. #99 the big fella Says:

    Go away Grover !!

  8. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist and Founder of Says:

    Suh & JPP should have never been let go, either.

    Both of those guys were missed profoundly in many ways and still are missed and haven’t been effectively replaced yet still to this day.

  9. Miller5252 Says:

    Go away Bruce?!?! If Bruce would have stayed I think the Brady effect would have been more prevalent last year and they would have made it deep in the playoffs. The team just laid everything on Brady to carry them and he couldn’t do it. Had too many issues of his own. Arians is a true leader and would have demanded players stepping up, as well as building around strengths of those players. Hell, they may have even ran the ball up the centers backside a few less times.

  10. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    I agree with J and 99

  11. Voice of Truth Says:

    That commanding influence is exactly what BA had and no one else on the staff did…

    Looks like Canales might be the best coach of them all and he hasn’t called a play yet- just listening to him speak, his energy, his plan – all sounds light years ahead of Todd or Byron

  12. Brandon Says:

    And the biggest loss, when Gisele took Brady’s nuts in the divorce and Brady lost his nerve. Can’t win with constantly throwing at or behind the line of scrimmage.

  13. Voice of Truth Says:

    Oh, much like Lovie, Todd likely hired his own replacement – when the new OC completely outperforms last years offense with two unknowns at QB – the love fest will be on

    Just think, if either succeeds and plays well, who gets the credit?

    When the D is giving up 225 yards a game and 20 first down in rushing while scraping for pressure and sacks – all the sudden the Glazers are going to have an epiphany

  14. Bucsfan13 Says:

    It was completely unfair to lay all of the leadership responsibilities of the team on Brady. Yes, he’s probably the greatest leader in NFL history, but in his years with the Patriots he also had Belichick! We’re completely letting Bowles off the hook. Mahomes was a leader, but he also had the backing of Andy Reid. Bowles was not a leader last year, and he’s never shown it as a HC. Sure, he’s a great DC and all the defensive players love him, but he’s supposed to be the HC of the entire team. I remember reading that Revis said players quit on Bowles his last season. All of my NY transplant friends hate the guy. I’m willing to give him one more year because he didn’t have his guys around, but I haven’t been impressed.

  15. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    Bruce did not fix anything, he just bought players.

  16. HC Grover Says:

    Bruce went away and left a big mess behind him. He did not leave the ship better off. He left this mess.

  17. ATLBuc Says:

    We needed Bruce’s red pen last year!

  18. LakelandSteve Says:

    I love Bruce Arians because he brought us Super Bowl. But he looms large over this organization and it would probably be better if he had nothing to do with the football operations. Let him help out with player evaluation and the draft, helping Jason Licht if he needs it but stay away from the day to day functions of the football team.

  19. ATLBuc Says:

    It seems like Leftwich and Brady made one game plan and stuck with it through all 18 games

  20. Joe Says:

    Oh, much like Lovie, Todd likely hired his own replacement – when the new OC completely outperforms last years offense with two unknowns at QB – the love fest will be on

    The difference here is that Todd Bowles is actually a decent defensive coach. Lovie was a joke.

    Not sure how anyone could call Baker Mayfield “unknown” unless they’ve never followed football before 2022.

  21. ModHairKen Says:

    Arians left the mess. He is either too much of a homer or blind to not see that Leftwich had no business being OC. He also promoted Bowles too much.

    And I’m sorry but saying Jensen and Shaq healthy would have somehow equaled too more victories is just mental onanism.

  22. Crickett Baker Says:

    Canales has shown us zero game plans yet. One of the things that I really like about him (as well as his great command of the English language) is that he seems so over-the-top happy that he got an OC position that he doesn’t seem to know or be bothered by the tremendous pressure he is under.

  23. Miller5252 Says:

    I think there’s one thing Arians doesn’t get enough credit for and that’s how he practices. Yes, he’s got the biggest staff in the league, but he knew how to use it. While the Bucs were doing all that winning both fields were going to develop the younger talent and get the so so player playing up to a higher level. I think it’s great for these young guy to get as many snaps as possible

  24. Ed McSherry Says:

    Unfortunately for the Bowles-Revisionist/apologists, the fans have that thing called “a memory.”

    1) When Bowles was hands-off, Byron Leftwich was a disaster.

    2) When Bowles was hands-on, things got exponentially worse.

    What was the question again? Where’s the need for any discussion about the cause of the disaster?

    Oh, I “get it.” Now that some time has gone by, try to gaslight everyone into thinking that Bowles was just going too easy on the team and it was actually all Brady’s fault; and muddy-the-waters of what you’re trying “to pull” with the O-line obfuscation.

    Ya, well, all you accomplish with that bulls.iit is display a certain intellectual-corruption, and lose the trust of the fans who expect that you can at least admit-by-omission that Bowles shouldn’t be anywhere near a head coaching position. He’s proved it, repeatedly. He proved it again last season, should have been fired, and you know it.

    Brady’s proven that he’s the GOAT.
    Brady gave you a Super Bowl win, not Arians.

    Don’t let it go to your head that Arians has some kind of great credibility, he’s no Belichick, not even close. The respect Arians has received, the fans give him due to gratitude.

    Under Arians, with no-Brady: Buccaneers were one of the worst teams in penalties and turnovers. Arians couldn’t correct the problem.

    The next year, with Brady, by the second half of the season, the Buccaneers were one of the best in both categories.
    Brady corrected the problem for you. The Patriots, with Belichick and Brady, wouldn’t tolerate a horrible performance in these areas, and Brady knew how to turn that around.

    And you have the gall to use Arians to dispense criticism and assign blame on something so obvious as coaching performances of 2022.

    Show a little gratitude, and not use the fact that Brady’s gone to blame the best quarterback in history in trying to resurrect a hack that you’re stuck with: that’s your fault, not Brady’s.

    As a fan, that’s pretty much the most insulting article I’ve ever seen.

  25. Fred McNeil Says:

    @Joe said that unlike Lovie Bowls is actualy a decent DC. Alright, I’ll give you that point.

  26. Fred McNeil Says:

    The joes said that unlike lovie,cbowls is a decent DC. Ok, I’ll give you that point

  27. Fred McNeil Says:

    You need to add an edit button.

  28. Rod Munch Says:

    To be fair to Bowles – he was handed Arians team on March 30th – and it was Arians team, not Bowles. The entire point was that Leftwich would do what he did, Bowles would do what he did, and everything should be on cruise control until after the season. Arians, however, greatly overestimated how dumb Leftwich was, and how quickly Leftwich would screw things up. Also, really, I think Arians greatly underestimated himself and the importance he had to the team. Him leaving the sidelines is when the season was basically over.

  29. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “Joe will losing Jensen…”

    Typo, Joe

  30. BucaneroJim Says:

    The mental difference of playing to win or playing not to lose. 2022 was playing not to lose, the downer effect of not winning the SB again in 2021.

  31. MX buc fan Says:


  32. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Gotta say I enjoyed Dungy while he coached here but my favorite Bucs coach by far is BRUCE. His offense was entertaining to watch. It put up a lot of points and I’m going to miss it and him yelling and kicking people out of practice. This is the type of coaching that is needed at 1 buc. Please come back Bruce. Honestly to right this ship we need Bruce back at HC and demote bowels back to DC which he is good at. Come on Bruce Tampa needs you

  33. RustyRhinos Says:

    The special assistant to our GM Arians is not coming back as HC. Get over it. We had a great run under his leadership. Thanks, Coach Ariens. HC Bowles is now in charge, no matter how much whining is done. HC Bowles took on the former BUC QB who was our Super Bowl-winning OC without Arians looking over his shoulder and redlining many parts of the game plays sheet. HC Bowles did what he thought was right in waiting for the season to play itself out. We won the NFC South and lost our first playoff game. Leftwich was let go. We found a new OC from a successful NFL coaching staff in Seattle. We move forward. Leftwhic is again a former BUC. Caneles is the new OC.
    We move forward. The 2023 draft is over and UDFA are signed. We move forward. Phase 1&2 of OTA is underway we are seeing and hearing about the 2023 Buccaneer team grow before our eyes. We keep moving forward.


  34. Geno711 Says:

    I will keep banging this drum. Hainsey was the worst of the offensive lineman last year. He likely is always a reserve that is smart enough to help in a pinch but never has enough man strength to be a good player.

    All the coaches seem to say the same thing about Hainsey:

    “Robert Hainsey came in and did a nice job.”

  35. kyle Says:

    grover youre a dbag

  36. Davenport Says:

    Bruce is the past. Bowles is the sad present. Next season will bring the future. We’re looking at 5-12 this year – nothing about Bowles history says otherwise.

  37. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    I agree with kyle