Even Bruce Arians and the offense know the sorry state of the banged up Buccaneers defense.
Often times, coaches like Bruce Arians on the Buccaneers are forced to take the politically correct way out of tough questions about their teams in press conferences, allowing them to avoid explicitly stating any of their true feelings about personnel.
However, during the course of an actual game, coaches show fans and players alike their true thoughts simply through the types of plays they call and who they decide to give the ball to in crucial circumstances.
This was exemplified by Bruce Arians during his team’s Week 6 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. With about nine minutes left in the 4th quarter of a game that was getting a little too close for comfort for the Bucs, Arians was faced with a decision to either punt the ball, which would likely put the eagles within their own 10 yard line, or to go for the 1st down on 4th and 3. For many managers, this would be an obvious punting situation, especially given the caliber of the Eagles offense, but Arians decided to go for it.
This should tell fans where Arians puts his faith in this roster; the offense. It would be nice to count on the defense to get key stops when it matters, but from what the defense has looked like so far this season, particularly the secondary, which suffered yet another injury last night to cornerback Richard Sherman, one can hardly blame Arians for putting his faith in Tom Brady’s ability to get the first down instead.
It truly has been a role-reversal of last postseason when it was the defense that was consistently churning out great performances week after week. Arians is certainly hoping things improve as the season progresses and a few defensive players return from their injuries. In the meantime, Buccaneers fans should expect to see more aggressive tactics taken by Arians since the Bucs have shown that their defense isn’t going to win them any games right now.
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