What’s in a name? When your last name is Arians, there’s quite a bit surrounding those six letters. Those six little letters stand for a two-time coach of the year, a two-time Super Bowl-winning coach, a man that has lent a hand to some of the greatest quarterbacks we’ve seen in our lifetime, from Peyton Manning to Ben Roethlisberger, to Andrew Luck, and now Jameis Winston.
While the name Jameis Winston isn’t usually associated with the name Peyton Manning, there’s no doubt that if anyone can bring those names into the same conversation, it’s Bruce Arians. It’s easy to coach a single quarterback for twenty years and then take credit for any successes that quarterback may have had. It’s not quite so easy to step in and take on multiple quarterbacks, coach them to multiple Super Bowls, and in some cases, reshape their entire career.
Arians doesn’t just bring an innate ability to connect with quarterbacks. He changed the entire culture in Indianapolis when asked to step in for Chuck Pagano and was able to rally an entire State around a single cause and a single person. He was asked to help return the Steelers to the swagger they hadn’t seen since the Iron Curtain and wound up giving them more offensive firepower than they’d ever seen in the Steel City. He was asked to bring a winning culture to Arizona and decided that wasn’t enough of a challenge so he gave them a mentality of refusing to accept losing.
If that wasn’t sufficient, he was then asked to come into Tampa and turn around a team that has been an annual team of promises without results and expectations without delivering. Not only did he agree to take on the task, but he took one look at the quarterback he’d been following since grade school and said give me my coaches and let’s get started. In just one short season he not only improved on the team from where they were when he took over but has injected a culture of winning. He has given the fan base hope for next season, and he’s given the entire Tampa Bay area a reason to be justified in their expectations.
He knows that the mentality and culture he’s put in place in Tampa is one that losing will no longer be accepted, and he knows that same mentality could run him out of Tampa if he doesn’t produce the results he’s become known for, but that’s just the type of odds he loves betting against. He knows what the team has in Tampa, and Tampa knows what they have in Coach Arians, and it’s for that very reason that we wish a very happy anniversary to the quarterback whisperer.