What’s the best move Bruce Arians has made in his tenure with the Buccaneers?
The obvious and easiest answer is the signing of quarterback Tom Brady. That’s a tough point to argue against. But I’m going to give it a shot. I’m going to argue Arians’ best move came in a Thursday interview. The coach was asked about the possibility of bringing in wide receiver Antonio Brown. The coach quickly shot that day, saying it wasn’t going to happen.
He’s a Prima Dona!
Bravo to Arians for saying no to Brown. Not making a move for Brown is a brilliant move. The Bucs don’t need the uber-talented Brown. He simply is too much trouble and wouldn’t be a good locker-room fit. He’s also a prima donna wide receiver, something that’s been far too common in the NFL forever.
I don’t want to say every receiver is a prima donna, but many are. And, in general terms, the better a receiver is, the more of a prima donna he is.
Think about it for a second. Michael Irvin, Terrell Owens, Steve Smith, Chad Ochocinco, just to name a few prima donnas. Heck, even people that were close to Jerry Rice, the best receiver ever and viewed as a team player, will tell you he had a selfish streak. He just was better than most at hiding it.
Brown might be more trouble than all those guys put together. Besides, the Bucs already have Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, two great receivers that aren’t prima donnas. But Evans and Godwin are the exceptions to the rule.
The Personalty of Receivers
Every time I think about a crazy wide receiver, I think back to a story I have written several times in the past and it applies now more than ever.
Back in the 1970s, Dr. Arnold J. Mandell was the team psychiatrist for the San Diego Chargers. Among the things he did was write personality profiles for all the different positions. The profiles were good and, for the most part, accurate. But Mandell knocked it out of the park in his assessment of wide receivers.
“The wide receiver is a very special human being,” Mandell wrote. “He shares many features with actors and movie stars. He is narcissistic and vain and basically a loner.”
I once showed the entire profile to Keyshawn – Meshawhn — Johnson. He read through it carefully and saw words like this;
“They love to be the center of attention”, Mandell continued. “They need to be noticed. They have an imperviousness in that they don’t seem to mind criticism about being like that. All players want the respect of fellow players. Showing off usually is not an admired characteristic by most players, but by wide receivers, it is very admired. They are interested in looking pretty, being pretty. They are elegant, interpersonally isolated. Wide receivers don’t group, they don’t mob out. They are actors, uninflected about showing off, individualists, quite interested in their own welfare, their own appearance.”
Johnson, who always is a good quote, finished reading. His quote was good but short.
“(Mandell) is right,’’ Johnson said. “Everything he wrote is true.’’
Apparently, Arians agrees. Wise move.
Pat Yasinskas has covered the NFL since 1993. He has worked at The Tampa Tribune, The Charlotte Observer, ESPN and is currently with the XFL. Pat has been a Pro Football Hall of Fame voter. He is an editorial consultant and occasional columnist for Bucs Report.