Buccaneers: Bruce Arians’ plan to trigger fear in the playoff contenders

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Oh my, what a plan it was by Bruce Arians and the Buccaneers, or at least, so we imagine.

Certainly, all you Buccaneers fans were lulled into believing this was the same old Bucs who, for decades, gashed our support and ripped out our hearts by dropping meaningful contests to meaningless contestants.

After all, hadn’t the offense basically gone on strike just two games prior and failed to score any points? Didn’t they give New Orleans enough breath to think they might even make the playoffs? Truly, truly, Sunday’s game plan against the New York Jets was pure genius. Don’t believe it, well, so much for you. What you may be failing to realize is just how masterful the game plan was.

It was, to coin a phrase, a Big Riskit for a Big Biscuit. Knowing that the rest of the league is thinking that Tom Terrific Brady is really just a washed-up ex-super star, they have been waiting, like vultures, for that magical day in the future when suddenly Tom would not be so terrific anymore.

And as the team is heading down the path of the regular season, why not lull the rest of the field into believing the wheels were falling off the Buccaneers Band Wagon as Antonio Brown beat a hasty exit to some squad car waiting outside the Meadowlands? Sure, they would believe. More than half the Buccaneers regular fans would believe it too.

So, here is our imagined situation from strategy room where the Bucs coaches frolic 16 hours a day, watching film and dreaming up ways to fool players, and sometimes fool whole teams, management and all. That’s what happened last week in Tampa.

With everyone sitting chill in the galley, BA (not AB) seemingly jokingly said, “Wouldn’t it be a hoot if we fell behind by two scores in the first half, played worse than we did against the Saints, and then come back for the win with 15 seconds left to play?”

At first, there was dead silence. Not one coach believed that Coach Arians would ever say anything like that. Isn’t he just an inch short of being taller than John Madden, and every bit as wise and crafty? That’s what the pundits say anyway. For 15 minutes there was confusion amongst the crowd. Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles said he wasn’t too sure that the plan would work. Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich simply sat still, with his Bucs South Champions hat spinning on his head like a whirligig. Assistant Head Coach Harold “Goody” Goodwin thought to himself that he might just get the head coaching job after all.

A series of buts and ifs and ands (sic) started to burble among the coaches. They argued for 20 minutes on how unethical it would be to do such a thing, and how would the league feel about it if it ever got out. BA just sat back and snickered. “What happened with the deflated balls?” he asked. No one had an answer. “What happened with the videotaping of the play calls?” he asked. Again, nothing moving other than Byron’s cap.

Still looking skeptical, the coaches in unison turned their eyes to BA and said, “Your play football to win games.” To which BA simply said, “We going to win, we got Tom.”

Many rabid Bucs fans don’t understand how a film session really works. You probably think the film is what the NFL uses to promote the league, and what some players use to get an understanding of nuance and how a player brings their game to the field. But in reality, coaches use it to spot the sluffs, near tackles, and couldabens. With the whole crew staring at him, BA laid out the plan.

“This game with the New York Jets is really a meaningless game. Sure, we’re going to win, but beating such a weak team doesn’t evoke the kind of fear and derangement that we need to impress on all those other contenders for our Lombardi trophy. No, and what makes this plan so sweet, is that not only are they going to believe we are that bad, but when Tom lets the leather fly and we score the winning touchdown with 50 seconds on the clock we will simply be ripping the hearts out of all the real contenders.”

Immediately, Todd Bowles spoke up. “Fifty seconds is way too much time, and besides some of them may be good enough to respond. It needs to be less, and a lot less. It ought to be 15 seconds.”

Leftwich, who had by this time stopped his hat from spinning, said, “I’m sure the defense could pitch a shut out in the second half and give us enough chances to close a two-score lead.” The rest of the coaches all agreed. Everything was set. Everyone was ready to do their thing. But then, the bottom fell out. BA got the ‘Rona and couldn’t coach, or so it seemed. The coaches were in a state of shock. Nothing this devastating had happened in Tampa since the cancelled Gasparilla Day. And then, with one day to spare, BA got his negative test back to the lab. In the privacy of his office, he told Bowles and Leftwich that he didn’t mind coaching the team, but couldn’t stand the idea of coaching them to lose, even if they were going to win.

And, as we all know, Tom Terrific made sure that the Bucs finally got the lead. And by gum, there were only 15 seconds left to play. Now, all the teams in the NFL know they can get ahead of the Bucs, but none of them believe they can actually win the game with Tom Terrific taking the snaps.

Obviously a joke scenario, but a plan such as this would still help some in the race to the playoffs.