Scary thought, I know. But in all honesty... what happens if Bruce Arians isn’t able to turn around this team and right the ship? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers job was an interesting one if nothing else simply due to the terms of the position available. The general manager, Jason Licht, needs a fast turnaround. The owners for that matter, need a fast turnaround. Jason Licht needed an offensive minded coach to utilize the talent already here and build a scheme that Jameis Winston can succeed in. Add to it all that the fans are not going to continue to wait around for this team to figure it’s stuff out, these aren’t Browns fans after all. So the question at hand is simple, what happens if Bruce Arians can’t turn things around? Let’s take a quick look at what he needs to do to make magic happen in Tampa Bay.
Scheme. All things considered, Bruce Arians scheme is a big factor as to why Jason Licht singled him out of the pack of head coaching candidates. Arians pushes the ball down the field and with the offensive weapons at receiver and tight end, this football should be able to do it. Along with scheme comes the fact that the head coach is having to rely on Jameis Winston who has struggled a bit with injuries, suspension and you know... turnovers. If Bruce Arians offense fails him, there’s a good chance the quarterback will hold a lions share of the blame. Speaking of scheme, Arians will have to prove to be a dynamite schemer given the voids at left tackle and right guard that face the team immediately. Running back isn’t all that shiny either and with a limited amount of money to spend, things won’t be easy to “reload” all that fast.
Personnel. We’ve heard it non stop as an excuse for past coaching regimes and it won’t be any different early on for Bruce Arians. This team lacks talent both at starting positions and in the form of depth. With two offensive line positions needing a body and an upgrade at running back potentially being a priority... it’s scary to think that the same team may need upgrades at corner and on the interior and exterior pass rush wise. With the team strapped for money and rumors of Gerald McCoy’s days being numbered, freeing up space with his release ultimately opens up yet another hole to fill. If the team becomes a more predominantly odd numbered front scheme wise then there is reason to believe that edge rushers will also be of the utmost importance to add this off-season. Let’s not forget that the defensive backfield is suspect at best and will again rely on a very young group of corners and safeties to shoulder the load. Vernon Hargreaves III and Carlton Davis should surely benefit from an attacking defense such as the one Todd Bowles likes to run, but whose to know how Hargreaves III will bounce back, if at all, after a lost season due to injuries and poor coaching for his entire NFL career. Throw in the fact that the team still doesn’t have a solid kicking game from it’s punter or place kicker and the number of bodies that Licht and Arians are tasked with filling becomes quite scary for a fast turnaround that’s expected by fans and was already forecast by Arians.
So what happens if Bruce Arians and his staff can’t turn this thing around and turn it around quick? The whole ship sinks. That’s what. The roster will be in shambles, the team will be looking for a new quarterback because if one thing is for sure it’s that Jameis Winston’s future, Arians future and Jason Lichts future’s are all interlocked for good now. If Bruce Arians doesn’t fix the Buccaneers then the team will continue to lose fans and be a seller dweller in the NFC South and NFL all together. If Bruce Arians doesn’t fix the Buccaneers it means his legacy and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Legacy will forever holds stains that never needed to be fostered. Tampa Bay had a chance to wipe clean the Jameis Winston era, the Dirk Koetter era and/or the Jason Licht era and they chose to stand by Jameis Winston and Jason Licht. Bruce Arians affection for Winston won him the job, it won him the hearts of many fans that want to believe. It’s all on his shoulders now to help groom Jameis and this entire roster of players. It’s up to Arians, Bowles, Byron Leftwhich and Jason Licht to get this ship sailing in the right direction. But what if its again all for not? What if.