Bruce & The Bucs Big Gamble


*Opinion Editorial*

Late last season everyone knew that the Dirk Koetter regime was coming to an end. Even the causal bystander knew that his days were numbered in Tampa Bay. Simply put Koetter and his staff were a complete train wreck.

The Koetter Train Wreck

As a whole, they were out coached every week. Both on the field and in the locker room. Game plans seemed to fall flat on Sunday’s, and the staff couldn’t adjust to get a win. In the locker room, the “game plan” also fell flat. Similarly the coaching staff let certain players divide the locker room. Cough… Cough… DeSean Jackson. Simply put, they didn’t stand a chance at every stage.

A New Era In Tampa Bay

In January the Buccaneers announced the hiring of Bruce Arians as their new Head Coach. It has unanimously been a move that has been signed-off by Tampa Bay and the media. The belief is that this is the coach that could get the Bucs back to relevancy, and if anyone could “fix” Winston it would be Arians.

After one week of free agency to kick of the league new year, that positive opinion of Arians has become somewhat fragmented in Tampa Bay. Reason being, more player favorites left then came into One Buc Place. The departures of Kwon Alexander and Adam Humphries highlighted the frustrations of bystanders.

By the Bucs letting the players walk that did, and not adding big free agent names stated one thing, they are betting big on the coaching difference that Arians brings. That what was wrong with this Tampa team was not the talent, but the coaching.

However, would Arians and GM Jason Licht have loved to keep players like Alexander, Humphries, and Jackson in a perfect world? For sure. With the cap situation being what it is though, they are banking on the players that they have. And are forcing themselves to continually build through the draft to protect the future of the team.

Will Their Gamble Pay Off?

In the NFL today, the owners, fans, and media are short on patience. It is a win-now league reinforced by instant satisfaction society. On average, Buccaneer head coaches are given about two years to right the ship, and are sent on their way if they fall short. Every coach has failed to meet those expectations since the departure of Jon Gruden.

That said, the Bucs are betting big that the change in coaching will be the thing that makes the difference. Will it pay off instantly in year one though? Arians history says yes, but Tampa Bay history proves otherwise. Plenty of good players and coaches have walked through the Bucs doors since 2002, and haven’t been able to find success. Which means a serious culture change is needed to shake off the Bucs losing ways. And Licht is all-in that Arians is the man to do it.