If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can entice Bruce Arians to come out of retirement, he could revive Jameis Winston, and with him, the franchise.
Whenever Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans mention the name Bruce Arians, it typically induces excitement.
Arians became one of the most popular head coaching candidates as the 2018 season dragged on. As Dirk Koetter’s seat got hotter and hotter, Arians’ familiar name always reverberated in Bucs fans’ heads.
The former Arizona Cardinals head coach was with current Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht for his first season in Arizona. Plus, Arians has always been supportive of polarizing Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston.
Now with Koetter fired and a new head coaching search beginning, Arians is the resounding favorite for the Buccaneers fan base.
The Arians base had even more support after Benjamin Albright reported on Twitter that Arians was on the top of the organization’s head coaching wishlist.
For most, the idea of Arians coming to Tampa Bay is enticing because of his past success with quarterbacks. He helped develop Ben Roethlisberger into a Hall of Fame caliber player. He was in Andrew Luck‘s ear for his rookie season, and he turned Carson Palmer into an MVP candidate in 2015.
All three of the quarterbacks mentioned above have similarities with Winston in some way or another. Roethlisberger had off-field issues hinder his career when he was young. All of the quarterbacks were taken at the top of the first round as well. Each entered the league with massive expectations.
What connects each of these quarterbacks is their knack for throwing interceptions. Every one of them has thrown for double-digit interceptions in nearly every season of their respective careers.
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The most common knock on Winston is his ugly turnover numbers. His interceptions and fumbles rank among the highest in the NFL since he began his career in 2015.
Things trended in the right directions for Winston in his second stint as the starter, but he was unable to take the strides the current coaching staff expected in 2018.
Winston’s campaign was a disappointment overall. He completed 64.7 percent of his passes for 2,647 yards with 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
He was handed the starting job after Ryan Fitzpatrick had a clunker against the Chicago Bears, but he was unable to keep the role for long. He eventually returned to the position later in the season and showed maturity down the stretch, despite it coming in losing efforts.
Arians has been fond of Winston for a few seasons now. If he is ready to take up another project and get the most out of a quarterback with rare physical traits, his best bet is in Tampa Bay.
Winston should fit well in Arians system. It is built for quarterbacks who like to take chances. Arians won’t mind an interception or two when Winston makes the throws downfield throughout the game.
As Winston enters the final year of his contract, it is time to see if he can become the franchise quarterback Licht and the front office believed he could become when they selected him with the number one overall pick.
The organization will know what they have in Winston with Arians at the helm.
Arians and the Bucs look like a solid match. Arians knows how to win with what he has. As a head coach, his teams finished under .500 just once, in a 7-8-1 season. The consistency and Arians’ ability to get the most out of his roster is something Tampa Bay needs.
With a no-nonsense coach in charge, Arians can bring his successful offensive system to a team filled with weapons, just like back in the day with Pittsburgh.
There are a few issues that could keep Arians away from Tampa Bay. For one, other jobs around the league look like a fantastic opportunity right now.
Arians mentioned in late November that the only team he would consider coaching was the Cleveland Browns. Behind rookie sensation Baker Mayfield, the Browns have finally become a threat in the AFC.
Plus, other teams like the New York Jets boast young quarterbacks and big markets that could entice Arians. Even the Denver Broncos and John Elway‘s recent success could be more attractive to Arians.
The beautiful weather and familiar faces sound nice in Tampa Bay, but a young talented quarterback or a more stable organization could mean more.
Another curveball could also keep Arians away from the Buccaneers. According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the Cardinals have to agree to let other teams contact Arians. So, the Arians conversation could be for naught if Arizona wants him back.
As the coaching carousel continues in Tampa Bay, Arians’ status will be one of the biggest storylines in Tampa Bay for the time being.