Complacency breeds weakness. No truer words have ever been spoken regarding the world of sports. The Buccaneers are not above this destructive way of thinking, but fortunately, head coach Bruce Arians never gives his team the opportunity to sink into this weak way of thinking.
After a win, teams should do two things; asses what they did right and what they did wrong. Fans and sports media do the same thing with their teams in an effort to determine the state of their beloved teams. However, a true determinate between the teams that are casual winners and the teams that are consistently great is their ability to focus far more on what they did wrong rather than what they did right.
This isn’t an indictment on those who celebrate victories, winning is the only goal, but greatness is not achieved by celebrating victories that are laden with mistakes. Greatness is also not achieved by blowing the whole team up after just one loss, even if the loss was laden with preventable mistakes.
Take the Bucs’ first win of the season against the Dallas Cowboys. After the game, the interviews of Cowboys players would make you think they had won the game, whereas during the postgame interview with Arians, he appeared visibly irritated and disappointed in his team’s performance.
Bruce Arians may rub some fans the wrong way by being tough on his team after victories, but that is just the mentality of a winner at work. He has never been one to pull punches either. Arians is just as likely to criticize Tom Brady’s performance on any given day as he is a 3rd string linebacker.
Just recently, Arians did this when, instead of talking about Tom Brady leading the NFL with nine touchdown passes, he singled out the one mistake where Brady held onto the ball too long in the pocket.
This kind of accountability throughout the team is appreciated by the players and breeds a tougher and more focused team. Arians’ coaching mentality was a major reason for the Buccaneers doing so well last year and his intensity will be needed even more this year to keep the reigning champs locked in every week.
A loss in Week 3 hurts, but it isn’t the end of the world. Being that he is a winner, Arians knows how to handle situations like this. While it would be easy to point out mistakes, which he will assuredly do, Arians will also focus on what his team did right to keep them on track to making it back to the Super Bowl.
One player or coach doesn’t complete change the outlook of a team, but Bruce Arians does have a substantial handprint in the turnaround for a team that was more than complacent being bad for a long time. He won’t let the Buccaneers get back to that point, and the loss against the Rams will help in the long run somehow.