At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, I had the opportunity to speak with former Buccaneers quarterrback and current Pro Football Talk co-host Chris Simms about a budding relationship in Tampa Bay.
Simms has been around in the NFL, leading the Bucs to their last playoff appearance in 2007 as well as playing for the Titans and Broncos. He’s seen successful coach/quarterback relationships. He’s seen some that weren’t so great.
So how is the one in Tampa Bay going to work?
I asked Simms what he felt Bruce Arians could do for Jameis Winston and how their pairing could lead to regualr season success and postseason opportunity;
“I think the great thing about Bruce Arians - whether it was Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Luck - he makes them feel like he’s in the fight with them. Almost like he’s playing vicariously through them and that gives the quarterback a lot of confidence that their coach has their back.
Bruce is the type of guy that when he makes a bad call he’ll own it. He’ll say, ‘Man, that was dumb.’ But he also makes quarterbacks not overthink situations. He demands that they be aggressive, they throw the ball downfield. And, of course, he’s going to be bringing a creative style of offense.
I just think a general aura of confidence about Bruce Arians and what he does for the quarterback position, it’s all gonna help Jameis Winston. Of course Jameis isn’t perfect. He looks like he’s maturing on and off the field, which is a good thing, but he does have some of those head-scratching plays from time to time. Then he does have some of those plays where I’m like, ‘Wow. He could be one of the best quarterbacks in football if he can put it all together.’
And I’m sure that’s what Arians saw. I do, I believe this is kind of the perfect match. I think this is the kind of personality that can get through to Jameis Winston and take his game to the next level.”
For those that listen to the PFT show on SiriusXM, you know that Simms isn’t exactly shy about throwing out criticism, so this isn’t just lip service when talking about a player just because it’s going up on a Buccaneers website. He genuinely believes it.
We’ve been saying for a while that if anyone can get Winston to play at the level we believe he can, it’s Arians. Continuing to hear the same sentiment from people around the NFL - including those that used to play quarterback in the league - should start to hold a little weight.