Remember when the Bucs hired Bruce Arians? Yeah, me too. So do the folks at ESPN when national NFL writer Dan Graziano was asked what the most underrated move of the offseason was league-wide. Of all the splash moves made in free agency and in the draft, Graziano said it was actually the Bucs’ hiring of Arians that is the most underrated. Bucs fans may not have had as much to talk about in free agency this year as other teams but it’s because the biggest offseason move wasn’t on the player side at all.
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hiring Bruce Arians as coach,” Graziano said in an article on ESPN.com. “While the rest of the league lost its collective mind hiring young, inexperienced coordinators and position coaches in search of the next offensive genius, Tampa Bay hired a proven offensive genius. Arians should be able to get the most out of Jameis Winston, if anyone can, and the Bucs should score a ton of points.”
The Bucs are just a week into OTAs and the experience Arians and his staff brings has been front and center already, from the way Arians structures practice to how tailor-made his system is on both sides of the ball for the talent on the field. Sure, there will be tendencies that remain the same from Arians’ prior offenses in Arizona, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, but there are going to be a lot of differences, too, based on what Arians has to work with personnel-wise. Neither he or Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles are of the ‘plug and play’ mentality when it comes to their schemes and from the looks of it, the result is going to be a drastically different Bucs team in 2019.
The evaluation of the current personnel continues at this point with the inflated 90-man roster through training camp. But it’s still far from a finished product, so if the Arians hire still wasn’t enough for you, the Bucs may not be done. Arians said a few days ago that the team usually adds ‘the missing piece’ closer to the season.
“When we get to training camp, we will have the guys that we want in there,” Arians said. “When I was in Arizona, every year that last week we would always add the missing piece. We’re looking for the missing piece right now. There is somebody out there. John Abraham came in, Dwight Freeney came in, guys that really impacted our defense and Todd [Bowles] did a great job of matching them up. We’re nowhere near where we are going to be in September, so we will just wait and see.”
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a Bruce Arians football team but adding him as the architect is far more impactful than any free agent signing Tampa Bay could make.