There is no question that this year’s mistakes have cost the Tampa Bay Buccaneers many games. I must add that the Refs didn’t help either. Six points or less in six games. A missed kick here, a failed two-point there, throw in some pick-sixes, a handful of penalties, a few horrible referee calls or no calls, and that’s why the Buccaneers ended the season 7-9 instead of possibly 13-3, and that’s pretty crazy to me, considering they were just 5-11 in the previous two seasons.
Bruce Arians, by no means, is anywhere near finished. There was some concern about the state of our head coach’s health when the word came out that we were hiring him since one of the main reasons for his retirement in the first place was likely due to health reasons. Arians had multiple battles with various forms of cancer over there years, and his most recent (2016) bout with kidney cancer. He underwent surgery in February of 2017 and was able to proudly boast that he was cancer-free!
The 67-year-old quarterback whisperer says he feels fantastic and has Physical Therapist Maral Javadifar to thank.
“I feel great. I’ve got a great person working on me every day. That was the best hire I’ve ever made is Maral Javadifar. She’s keeping me ready. Getting my golf game, hopefully now.”
Arians’ message to the fans:
“We will quit beating ourselves, and then we’ll be hard to beat. The penalties, the turnovers, there were very, very few missed assignments anymore. The accountability is there. They play extremely hard, and we’ll be a tough out.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-9 record surely is something to be proud of, but the first year Buccaneers head coach is not going to expect to be graded among the top of the class.
“I’m hoping to get a C+ this time. I’d give up about a few hundred thousand dollars to be practicing this week. Because I just know if we got in the tournament, we could do some damage.”
Speculation regarding Leftwich and Bowles being sought after for head coaching positions began early in the season, but began really gaining momentum midway and beyond. Our pals over at Pewter Report spoke with our defensive coordinator a week ago, and it seems like he is Not Thinking About Another HC Job – Yet. As for Leftwich. I’d think he would want to stay under the tutelage of Bruce Arians for at least one more season before fielding offers, although he could be a hot candidate for a head coaching job. A Top 5 offense will surely do that. Bruce Arians is proud of his coordinators and is hoping that the phone rings off the hook for them both.
“I would hope so. I’m very pleased with the work that they did – all of them in all the phases. I saw growth in every area. I saw really good coaching in every area. I saw really young players develop that we needed have developed.”
As for the upcoming season, Coach; will be keeping a close eye on free agency and the NFL Draft for players that he believes are better than those he currently has. This includes Jameis Winston, who they should be making a decision on within the next month. Arians will certainly be weighing his options.
“Free agency. Who’s available. What’s behind door number two? That’s the first question. As you evaluate for the draft, that’s another question. Are they better than what you have? And then you evaluate, and that’s when you make your decisions.”
Bruce Arians and Jameis Winston should have been a match made in heaven, but like any relationship, you have to take the good and take the bad. Arians saw growth in Winston, but he also saw regression. Does that mean Winston is going to be shown the door? Not necessarily, but Arians is certainly frustrated with his inability to correct Winston’s turnover problem.
“It’s frustrating to see the growth was great, but to see the regression in some areas was very frustrating.”
Will Arians give it another shot and see if he can correct Winston’s turnover issue? Can we retain our historical run defense and our record-setting pass rush? Can we continue our top tier offense? Will the majority of the team be back next season? Will Tampa be the contenders that we all know they can be? These are all questions that we will soon have answers to.