Bruce Arians sure does have some clout around the NFL.
ESPN’s Mike Sando released his offseason grades for each NFL team on Wednesday and he gave the Bucs a B- for the efforts over the past few months, but it’s mostly due to the hiring of Arians.
Sando cites Arians’ hire as part of “the big picture” for the Bucs and his track record of success gives fans plenty of reasons to be excited for 2019 and beyond.
Per an anonymous NFL executive from the report, Arians’ work with Jameis Winston will go a long way in determining the Bucs’ fate. Quarterbacks usually play pretty well under Arians, which is easy to see based off of his past work with Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, and Carson Palmer.
And speaking of Palmer, Sando’s piece features a chart of his and Winston’s stats the year before they played under Arians. Winston statistically had a better year in 2018 than Palmer did in 2012, which was the year before he played under Arians. It’s an interesting comparison and makes you wonder just how good Winston can be in this system.
Does that automatically mean that Winston will dominate in 2019? No, of course not, but it’s certainly encouraging.
And what better time of the year to stoke some encouragement?
The following quotes are from the anonymous exec in Sando’s piece. You can check out the chart I mentioned above and the full article here.
“I think Arians does make a difference,” an exec said. “You watch what he does and it seems like everybody is a better player. It wouldn’t shock me if he takes them to 8-8, 9-7, and maybe for a year the quarterback tries to prove everyone wrong.”
“The most important thing is Arians making a difference in Winston, and if they do that, they will be better,” an exec said.
An improved defense will also be key to a successful season, but at the end of the day, Winston’s improvement matters the most.
He does knock the Bucs for the fact that they basically screwed themselves out of compensatory picks by signing Shaquil Barrett and Breshad Perriman. How he breaks it down makes a lot of sense, so you can’t blame him for docking them for how they handled those decisions.
But at the same time, you need players on your roster and 2020 compensatory picks aren’t going to help in 2019.
What do you think of the grade? Let us know below!
Was Tampa Bay’s offseason grade fair?
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