When Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians was asked this week if he would consider coaching from the booth this season the answer was a resounding “no”. Even with his history with health issues and being no spring chicken, Buccaneers head ball coach was resolute that he will be on the sidelines this fall.
Mike Florio and Chris Simms of PFT talked about what teams would be best situated if the head coach were to miss any time due to a COVID-19 quarantine situation. the full video can be seen (here). Also mentioned in this conversation was the time that Saints coach Sean Payton broke his leg on the sideline at Raymond James stadium. But I’ll save that story for a “best Buccaneer sidelines Memories” piece for another time.
Coach Arians Is Old School
We have mentioned a few times here on Bucs Report that Christine Arians, and coach Bruce have a forever house in Georgia that they will spend their hard earned retirement years at. Some day. As for today, Coach Arians is fully invested in putting together what might end up being the greatest collection of football talent ever assembled. For a run at Super Bowl LV here in Tampa Bay in 2021.
As for coaching from the booth as opposed to the sideline. Do you know how hard it is to yell at the officials from the booth. When coaches face turns red during the game. And it will turn red during the game. It will be hard to tell if he has a problem with something happening on the field, or just choking on a hot dog he snacked on during a TV timeout. It just wouldn’t work.
Strong Coaching Support
This has been no coincidence that the Buccaneers have a very deep pool of assistant coaches at every position. Arians had made it no secret that he depends on his coaches for every decision. That he is grooming some to continue on ahd have long NFL careers. Also, quite a few of them have worked with coach before and are working with him again because of what working in a Bruce Arians coached environment can mean.
But listening to Arians response to the question the other day about coaching from the booth. Hearing his response. Reminded me of another story from Bruce Arians coaching past.
When first hired on at Alabama to coach under the great Bear Bryant. It was understaood that Arians was coming on full time. This would make him eligible to recruit. A job he was both good at, and enjoyed immensely. Somebody on the Bama staff decided to make him a part time coach because he was the newest guy on the staff. a situation that angered the coach who had just left a head coaching job at Mississippi State to work under the Bear.
After walking out and basically quitting, he decided to call another coach, Jimmy Sharpe, who was Bryant’s confidant. Sharpe’s repply was “good for you”. Next thing he gets a call from Sharpe telling him to go back up into the office, coach Bryant will see you in about 10 minutes.
The Bear And The Disciple
Bear Bryant walks in and gives Arians the hook. They walk into coaches office and Bryant asks, “Who the hell likes recruiting anyway”? Arians responds, ‘that’s part of my job. That’s why you hired me. I’m a good recruiter. I’m a full-time coach. If this part-time job is the job you’d have offered me, I’d still be at Mississippi State.’
“If you know anything about Coach Bryant, he had this sofa that when you sat in it you were sitting on the floor. And Coach was a big man and he had a big desk. So, he stood up over that desk and said, ’Boy, I don’t talk out of both sides of my mouth. You get your ass in that car and start recruiting. You’re full-time.’
“I headed out that day and I didn’t come back for about three weeks,” Arians said laughing.
So when it works back to 2020, and the question of whether Coach Bruce Arians would consider sitting in a booth as opposed to standing on the sidelines with his team. The general out front with the soldiers ready to go to war at any given moment. It reminds me of that story so long ago. Between one of the greatest coaches to ever walk a college sideline, and now, one day, when all is said and done, one of the greatest coaches to ever walk an NFL sideline.
Bruce Arians doesn’t talk out of both sides of his mouth either. He will be there in the thick of the fight. He will stand on the Buccaneers sideline in 2020. He will “coach em hard, and hug em later”, but either way, he will be right there with them.