It isn’t time to question Bruce Arians and the Buccaneers.
Bruce Arians interviews have always been a thing of beauty, especially in Tampa with the Buccaneers. Arians has taken the “cool uncle” vibe to the next level with the Bucs, much in the same way Tom Brady has let loose, which leads to plenty of interesting quotes and soundbites featuring the future Hall of Fame coach.
Today just seems to be the day for Arians’ quotes to hit the internet. The first quote was concerning, but the context of the second should ease doubts.
Not caring about analytics isn’t new in the league, but fans should take this worth a grain of salt. Every team in the league should use numbers to some level in their game plan, but Arians saying he doesn’t use analytics doesn’t mean they aren’t present in his scheme.
“No risk it no biscuit” is actually backed up in large cases by analytics, even if Arians doesn’t use them to come to this conclusion. A deep passing attack that uses quick running backs with hands to keep the defense honest is the definition of how analytics tell teams to play. Arians calls that his gut, which should tell you everything you need to know about his understanding of the sport.
The numbers often say that the aggressive team reaps the benefits for taking the risks, and Arians not being afraid of risks will keep him successful in the NFL, even if he personally doesn’t look at the numbers too often. The only thing that matters analytics-wise is that Byron Leftwich is familiar with them.
Leftwich is a good football mind, but it is undeniable that he isn’t even close to Arians as a student of the game. Time has a way of teaching, and Leftwich is still extremely young by coaching standards.
In an effort to add to his success and make himself a more compelling head coaching candidate, Leftwich needs to use analytics to his advantage in the evolving game, and another Bruce Arians quote shows just how much sway his offensive coordinator possesses.
The revelation that Arians doesn’t attend offensive meetings may shock people, much like it did to Mike Florio, but this shouldn’t actually bother anyone. Arians has always made it a priority to cultivate his coaching staff, and despite some mistakes, Leftwich has done a very good job overall with the reins.
If Arians feels comfortable enough to stay out of the meetings, power to him. He is a Super Bowl champion, and Leftwich’s offense is one of the best in the NFL. There is no reason for any outrage or questioning of either as a coach.
The offense has looked great in recent weeks and likely will continue to do so for a long time to come. The current setup works, as proven by a brilliant 2020 season, and it will take a lot more than some views on analytics or coaching decisions to slow this team down.
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