As the NFL offseason continues to move forward, we have now arrived at the annual Owners’ Meetings, where coaches and owners throughout the NFL meet and
complain decide on rule changes, roster limits, and more.
But the best thing about the Owners’ Meetings is that we are only a month away from the NFL Draft.
That’s neither here nor there, though. Sorry, I get distracted easily at times.
It’s always interesting to track the latest news and developments coming out of Arizona, but for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - along with fans and the media - there’s a different feel to this year. With a new coaching staff in town, this is the first time that Bruce Arians or Jason Licht have addressed the team in-depth since Arians was first hired.
To no surprise, they had a lot to say. Thanks to outstanding coverage from the Atheltic’s Greg Auman, Pewter Report, and the Tampa Bay Time’s Rick Stroud, I was able to pick out the five most interesting quotes from Tuesday.
What stood out to you? Let us know in the comments below!
No more soft coverage?
Arians on Bucs' improved secondary: "I think what we're going to do with them is going to be more advantageous to them. Get up. I've got you. Beat my ass. We're not sitting back, read-and-reacting. … We'll get in your face, play man-to-man and get after it."— Greg Auman (@gregauman) March 26, 2019
This. THIS. OH MY GOD. THIS.
Don’t get me wrong, off-man has its benefits, but it’s clearly not the right system for the group of corners that the Bucs currently have on their roster.
Carlton Davis III and Vernon Hargreaves III both excel when they are in press/man coverage. The tape doesn’t lie and there is plenty of evidence that shows these two ballin’ out when they are allowed to put their hands on folks.
But what I love most about this quote is that it means Tampa Bay will be an aggressive defense in 2019. This was obvious when Arians brought in Todd Bowles, but to hear him actually confirm the theory should make Bucs fans very, very happy.
More Bruce Arians today: "We have one team, one cause. If you ain't on that cause, you ain't on the team. That's it. If you're not buying into that accountability to win that trophy, you're not going to be a Buc. I don't care who you are."— Greg Auman (@gregauman) March 26, 2019
It’s pretty obvious there was no accountability under Dirk Koetter.
From Desean Jackson to Brent Grimes, certain players were constantly either putting themselves before the team or hurting it in other ways.
And what became of any of it? Nada.
Outside of Jameis Winston’s suspension - which was brought down by the NFL - Koetter never held any players accountable. It was the same with his coaching staff as well. He waited until the very last second to fire former defensive coordinator Mike Smith, who’s defensive schemes and ideologies rendered the Bucs as the worst defensive team in football for a year and a half.
Speaking of Winston, Koetter did in fact bench him during a poor performance against the Cincinnati Bengals, so there is that. But at the same time, it’s apparent there was some kind of rift between Koetter and Winston, so being petty doesn’t really qualify as holding someone accountable to an extent.
The saga continues...
#Bucs coach Bruce Arians said of McCoy: "Oh yeah, I mean if he's there, he's there. He'll be our starting three (technique). There's no doubt about that.''— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 26, 2019
We all know the situation with Gerald McCoy by now, but to hear the phrase “if he’s here” actually come out of Arians’ mouth should have everyone’s antennas up.
A plan for the secondary
Arians says he has confidence in Carlton Davis and Vernon Hargreaves as Bucs’ outside corners, needs to find a nickel who can play man coverage inside so he can keep Hargreaves outside.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) March 26, 2019
We’ve also seen where they have talked about moving M.J. Stewart to safety, which not only makes sense, but gives the team depth at a position ravaged by injuries a year ago.
While Tampa Bay’s secondary has been pretty bad over the past few years, there’s still room for improvement within the young group.
I know that sounds crazy after what we’ve witnessed, but injuries, a bad scheme, and bad coaching had a large role to play in the secondary’s demise.
The Bucs have a lot of talent in the defensive backfield and if used correctly, it could turn into a solid position group. It seems like Arians and Bowles have an idea of what they want to do and based off what they’re saying - there’s plenty of reason to be excited.
Time for a breakthrough
Arians says what he hears from other coaches is how much they fear the receivers and the quarterback (Jameis Winston). Says he thinks Chris Godwin can be a 100 catch guy because he will also play in the slot.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 26, 2019
The best receiver on the team not named Mike Evans is due for a breakout year and it looks like he has the perfect coach to help him achieve that goal.
Chris Godwin finished with a 59/842/7 line in 2017. Those numbers were good enough to place him fifth in receptions, fourth in yards, and tie for second amongst all second-year wideouts in the NFL. Only Corey Davis, Kenny Golladay, and JuJu Smith-Schuster finished with more yards and receptions. Mike Williams scored 10 touchdowns in 2018.
Now that Adam Humphries and Desean Jackson are gone, those numbers should increase dramatically and Arians’ words reflect that sentiment.
Fire up Godzilla, it’s time to let him loose.
Arians said Goodwin and Gilbert are both offensive line coaches and one might take the tackles and one the guards Worked well together in Indy. Wants to find what they lineman do best, and run to their strengths.— PewterReport (@PewterReport) March 26, 2019
Arians said I want Jameis to be Jameis. He doesn't have to be Peyton or Ben. Just be Jameis. The sky is the limit with the talent we have around him. We just have to protect him. And run the football.— PewterReport (@PewterReport) March 26, 2019
Bruce Arians not only has hired two women into full-time roles in his Bucs coaching staff, but is ready for that not to be a big deal. “The fact that their gender is different? Who gives a shit?”— Greg Auman (@gregauman) March 26, 2019
Arians said his successor is currently on his staff if things go as planned, but it would be hard to pick one. He said there are four or five that could do the job.— PewterReport (@PewterReport) March 26, 2019