Quarterback Kelly Holcomb first worked with Bruce Arians at Indianapolis as a backup to QB Peyton Manning. He then followed him to Cleveland when Arians became offensive coordinator for the Browns in 2001.
Holcomb, like so many players and coaches who have worked with Arians has a favorite Arian’ism. “It’s not about the X’s and O’s” recalls Holcomb, “It’s about the Jimmy’s and Joe’s”. The fact that Coach Arians is going to put players into positions that give them the greatest chance for success is credit in the bank of trust at the NFL level. And that is very valuable.
Coach Bruce Arians has a history of moving players, specifically wide receivers around to not only maximize their talent, but also to give them the biggest advantage in the way a defense can cover them. In 2013, upon arriving as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Arians would move, certain future hall of fame receiver, WR Larry Fitzgerald to the slot reciever position.
After playing for the first nine years of his career mostly on the outside. In 2017, after becoming the oldest receiver to reach 100 catches and 1,000 yards receiving. It was his third straight year accomplishing that task, and as a result the experiment moving Fitzgerald inside could be defined a success.
Current Buccaneers Assistant Head Coach/Running Game coordinator, Harold Goodwin coached under Arians in Indianapolis, and in Pittsburgh when coach Arians moved Reggie Wayne & Hines Ward into the slot receiver position as well.
Goodwin told Fitzgerald just as Arians had told Wayne “It’s going to work out for you to be in different spots so they can’t double team you and we can get you the best matchup to win those one-on-one deals.”
Bruce Arians has the perfect combination of guts, intelligence, personality and knowledge to be able to ask a group of players to go through a wall and they won’t ask why, but “When”.
Long after he was a rookie quarterback on the Buccaneers practice squad, Kelly Holcomb, like other Arians players would follow coach not just because of his knowledge of the X’s and O’s, but because of his ability with the Jimmy’s and the Joe’s.