This article is a first of “What If” pieces with regards to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers future or past decisions. It is an attempt to forecast the future or reflect on the past of the many decisions that come along the Buccaneers path. With this piece, we will be focusing on the near future of the Bruce Arians regime, and what that would mean for the organization and fan base.
Let’s be clear, almost no one in the national media is counting on Tampa Bay going from worst to first. For good reason, as the Bucs have had only two winning seasons since the dismissal of Jon Gruden. Las Vegas has them winning just 6.5 games in 2019, and that bet may not be far off.
Many Bucs fans tend to disagree with that assertion though, and are even somewhat baffled about the 6.5 win bet. Especially since it factors in a bonafide proven head coach and a strong coaching staff.
If you ask the average Bucs fan in Tampa Bay if their team will have a winning season under Arians this year, the answer would be a resounding YES. Now this isn’t just some of the eternal optimists, but also the fans who may have been more pessimistic in years past. Yet today this group believes that Arians could be the Head Coach to take them back to the promise land.
Now without a doubt Bruce Arians is a proven winner with a 49-30-1 record and an appearance in the NFL Championship game during the 2015 season. He has worked with some of the great QB’s of the current era in Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer, and Andrew Luck. He is known as the QB whisperer, and he solidified that fact when he took a 5-11 team to 10-6 in his first year with an underwhelming former 1st round pick QB.
Success is never guaranteed though, and it doesn’t always translate well from team to team. The Buccaneers haven’t seen the playoffs for 11 seasons, and the team & fans alike have forgotten what winning consistently feels like. They are hungry and desperate for it, and some believe Arians will replicate the instant success he had in Arizona. That is a pretty sizable bet though. And it is one that may not come through.
If the Bucs do not win in 2019, what will be the fall out of another underwhelming season? For starters, the same fans who believed in the instant turnaround and chanted playoffs,will more than likely be the first one’s to call for Arians dismissal. Not out a belief that Arians lacks the talent, but fans are in a win-now mode and want to do whatever it takes to get there.
The second thing that will more than likely happen is… Nothing. Las Vegas would have been more or less right, and the team will rally around the talking points of working hard to improve and analyzing their next steps to make this team a winner once again.
Outside of the fan base’s disappointment in another depressing season, Licht, Arians, and the staff will walk into the office in 2020 ready to install year 2 of their plan to bring the Bucs back to relevancy.
What do you think will happen if the Bucs don’t win in 2019? Let us know in the comments below!