There’s a lot that goes into preparing for a game each week. The countless meetings, studying, game-planning by the coaches. Then of course, practice. But it doesn’t slow down on game day itself. The game plan is put together so that the team can be prepared for the respective opponents on Sunday, but it’s still up to the coach and his coordinators to execute the game plan as best as they can.
“You have basically five seconds from the last play to the next play to make up your mind where you’re going,” said Head Coach Bruce Arians. “So you get a down and distance and a hash and you better be knowing where you’re going next. Whether it’s short yardage, long yardage, that’s why it’s helpful to have a script but a script runs out after a while. You’re going with things in between series. You’re setting things up for the next series.”
Arians, talking to team reporter Casey Phillips on the Bucs Total Access radio show, went in depth on what goes into the decisions made throughout the game and how they’re prepared for going into it.
“For both of us, we have a call sheet,” Arians said of him and Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich, who Arians relinquished the reins to this year. “Eighty percent of the game is called. Then you have about five or six gut calls you make. But your third down, all those things are scripts.”
Arians has limited input during the games themselves, but he’s very involved in the game plan throughout the week, along with quarterback Jameis Winston
“How you’re gonna run your plays with your quarterback’s help a lot,” said Arians. “He gets to pick a lot of those plays on Friday and Saturday that he wants to run, that are his favorite ones. You never want to call a play the quarterback doesn’t like. Try to talk him into it and it’s going to be a bad play.”
So, what kinds of things does Winston like to run?
“Just about anything,” Arians said. “He’ll make every throw and obviously we don’t like to force balls but there are things towards Mike he likes. He’s also got a great rapport with Chris Godwin. OJ [Howard] popped into this one big, I knew he would this past game. It was another good matchup for him. So, we just have to continue to get him to spread the ball around to everybody.”
The Buccaneers will now be preparing to take on the Los Angeles Rams as they start a five-game road stretch with a bye week in between, keeping them out of Raymond James Stadium until Nov. 10. The offense will have All-Pro Aaron Donald to contend with on the other side of the line while the defense prepares for Jared Goff and his arsenal of weapons. They’ll be going against another good play caller in Rams Head Coach Sean McVay as well as his defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
“This is a well, well-coached football team and Wade Phillips does a great job with the defense and offensively, Sean is one of the bright young guys in this business,” Arians said.