Why the Bucs new coaching staff will have this team winning sooner rather than later!

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have themselves a completely new coaching staff. Even though they were brought in and introduced earlier this year, we had an opportunity to hear from most of them again recently in a series of press conferences at One Buc.

I LOVED WHAT I HEARD!

Almost every one of these coaches has some sort of past ties with Arians. They all share in his philosophies. They are all familiar with his methods. They all know what he wants and how he wants it done. And they all know how to work together. These are all characteristics of a great coaching staff.

So who’s on this new coaching staff?

HEAD COACH

Bruce Arians

-Only head coach in NFL history to win “Coach of the Year” twice in three years with two different teams and one of only 12 coaches to win it two or more times

ASSISTANT HEAD COACH/RUN GAME COORDINATOR

Harold Goodwin

Arians Connection- Spent 11 seasons working with the Steelers, Colts and Cardinals along side Arians

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR

Todd Bowles

Arians Connection- Played for Temple University while Arians was there and spent 2 seasons as the defensive coordinator under him with Arizona where he won an “Assistant Coach of the Year” award.

-Was the Jets head coach for 4 years where they boasted one of the better defenses in the league.

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

Byron Leftwich

Arians Connection- Played for the Steelers while Arians was there and then was an intern coach, quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for the Cardinals

SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR

Keith Armstrong

Arians Connection- Played for Temple University while Arians was there

-Spent the last 10 seasons with the Falcons where his special teams consisted of one of the best punt coverage and field goal kicking units in the league

DEFENSIVE QUALITY CONTROL COACH

Tim Atkins

Arians Connection- Worked as the defensive quality control coach under Bowles for the last 3 seasons with the Jets

SPECIALIST COACH

Steve Boniol

Arians Connection- None

-Will be working specifically with the punter and kicker; he’s the equivalent of a swing coach for golfers

INSIDE LINEBACKERS COACH

Mike Caldwell

Arians Connection- Spent last 4 seasons under Bowles with the Jets and 2 seasons before that under Bowles and Arians with the Cardinals

-Helped to produce one of the best run defenses in football with both teams over the last 6 years

ASSISTANT TO THE HEAD COACH

Mike Chiurco

Arians Connection- Spent 4 seasons with the Colts as a college scout before working under Arians for 5 seasons with the Cardinals

QUARTERBACKS COACH

Clyde Christensen

Arians Connection- Coached with him at Temple University and worked with him during his 14 years with the Colts

-Coached Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne as the Colts wide receivers coach; Was the offensive coordinator for the Colts when Peyton Manning set franchise records for completions, attempts and yards; Was the quarterbacks coach for Andrew Luck’s rookie season where he set NFL rookie records for passing yards and 300-yard games; Was also Luck’s QB coach in 2014 when he set the franchise record for passing yards in a season and led the league in passing touchdowns.

TIGHT END COACH

Rick Christophel

Arians Connection- Worked with him at Temple University and Mississippi State then spent 5 seasons with him in Arizona

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS COACH

Larry Foote

Arians Connection- Played for the Steelers for 11 years while Arians was there and then spent 4 seasons as the LB’s coach for the Cardinals under him.

WIDE RECEIVER COACH

Kevin Garver

Arians Connection- Spent 6 seasons with the Cardinals working with Larry Fitzgerald

-Under him, Fitzgerald made four Pro Bowls, set a franchise record for receptions in 2015, tied it again in 2017 and led the NFL in 2016.

OFFENSIVE LINE COACH

Joe Gilbert

Don Knight | The Herald Bulletin

Arians Connection- Spent 6 seasons with the Colts

-Was the offensive line coach for three straight 11-win seasons and an offense that ranked 8th in points scored and 10th in total offense during that time; In 2014, despite using 11 different o-line combinations, the Colts set franchise records in net yards and net passing yards while scoring the second most points in team history.

DEFENSIVE/SPECIAL TEAMS ASSISTANT

Cody Grimm

Arians Connection- None

-No connections to Arians, but he does with the Buccaneers; drafted in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft by Tampa where he played in 23 games in 3 seasons with 12 starts at safety

ASSISTANT STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH

Maral Javadifar

Arians Connection- None

-One of two female members of the Buccaneers coaching staff

SPECIAL TEAMS ASSISTANT

Amos Jones

Arians Connection- Played for “Bear” Bryant at Alabama while Arians was there; coached at Temple University and Mississippi State with Arians in college then with the Steelers and Cardinals in the NFL

-His 2009 Steelers special teams unit led the NFL in kickoff return yards; his 2014 Cardinals special teams unit was 4th in the league in kickoff coverage and his punters for 2012 and 2013 both led the league in punts inside the 20 yard line

SPEED & CONDITIONING COACH

Roger Kingdom

Arians Connection- Spent 4 seasons under him with the Cardinals

-Was a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist in the 110-meter hurdles during the 1984 and 1988 Olympics.

ASSISTANT DEFENSIVE LINE COACH

Lori Locust

Arians Connection- None

-The other female member of the Buccaneers coaching staff

RUNNING BACKS COACH

Todd McNair

Arians Connection- Was a running back at Temple University under Arians, then worked with him in Cleveland as the Browns running backs coach

-Has not coached since 2009 when he was the running backs coach for USC

HEAD STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH

Anthony Piroli

Arians Connection- Spent 3 seasons under him with the Cardinals

OFFENSIVE ASSISTANT

Antwaan Randle El

Arians Connection- Played for the Steelers while he was there

-Known for his versatility as a player finishing his 9 year career with 4,467 receiving yards, 438 rushing yards and 4,316 return yards.

SAFETIES COACH

Nick Rapone

Arians Connection- Played with him at Virginia Tech, coached with him at Temple University and worked under him with the Cardinals

-From 2013-17, was the defensive backs coach where his Cardinals secondary was one of the best in the NFL holding opponents to a 61% completions (9th in the league), an 83.2 passer rating (6th in the league) and had 86 interceptions (3rd in the league) with 14 of them returned for touchdowns

DEFENSIVE LINE COACH

Kacy Rodgers

Arians Connection- Spent 4 seasons as Bowles defensive coordinator with the Jets

-During his time in New York, the Jets run defense held opponents to 4 yards per carry (6th in the league) and just 44 rushing touchdowns (8th in the league) over that four year span

OFFICIATING CONSULTANT

Larry Rose

Arians Connection- None

-His job is to assist Bucs coaches and players with knowledge and interpretations of NFL rules and in-game strategies; 40 years of officiating experience with more than 350 games at the collegiate and NFL levels; 17 seasons as an NFL line judge; officiated 14 playoff games, 2 conference championship games and one Super Bowl (XLII)

CORNERBACKS COACH

Kevin Ross

Arians Connection- Worked under him with the Cardinals from 2013-17

-Was the cornerbacks coach in Arizona where they had one of the best secondaries in the NFL during that time span

ASSISTANT STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH

Michael Stacchiotti

Arians Connection- Worked with Anthony Piroli who worked with Arians in Arizona

OFFENSIVE QUALITY CONTROL COACH

John Van Dam

Arians Connection- None

ASSISTANT STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH

Chad Wade

Arians Connection- None

-He is returning for his sixth season with the Buccaneers

OFFENSIVE CONSULTANT

Tom Moore

Arians Connection- Was the offensive coordinator for the Colts when Arians was the QB coach then he was Arians assistant coach for the Cardinals

-Has been in coaching since 1961; will only be used as an offensive consultant through training camp

So just how good is this coaching staff?

Bruce Arians has a .598 winning percentage over his NFL coaching career. His teams have made the playoffs in 15 of his 25 seasons as an NFL coach. The entire coaching staff has 220 years of combined NFL coaching experience. Between them, they have a .539 winning percentage, 91 playoff seasons and 10 Super Bowl wins. That’s not just good, that’s great. That’s experience. That’s winning.

So how is this staff different from the 2018 staff?

There were 23 members of the Buccaneers 2018 coaching staff under Dirk Koetter. This year’s staff under Arians has 30 members. This staff now has an assistant head coach/run game coordinator in Harold Goodwin, a specialist coach in Chris Boniol, offensive consultant Tom Moore, both inside AND outside linebackers coaches in Mike Caldwell and Larry Foote, a speed & conditioning coach in Roger Kingdom, an offensive assistant in Antwaan Randle El and an officiating consultant in Larry Rose…all positions that were not on the staff last season. Oh and there are not one, but two females on this staff now where there were none on previous staffs.

So what’s so different about how this staff coaches?

Arians says that every one of his coaches aren’t just coaches of the game…they’re teachers of the game as well. What does that mean? It means that in addition to telling players to do this or go there, they are telling them WHY they’re doing this or going there. In my job as a firefighter, continuing education is important to keep us up-to-date with new technology and current methods that help us do our job more effectively. It’s no different for professional football players. The game is always evolving and changing, so the players need to evolve and change with it. That’s where the teaching part comes in. Having a staff with this much knowledge and experience is a huge plus when it comes to coaching NFL players and getting the best out of them.

So how is practice different than it has been in the past?

First, no music. Arians has not allowed music during these voluntary mini-camps. It could change once the guys hit the field for training camp, but I doubt it. Arians is all about business when he’s out there on that field. Second, the two practices happening simultaneously. This is something that Arians did in Arizona and he’s brought the concept with him to Tampa. Two practices. Two fields. Double the reps. That means more opportunities for players to get more snaps in practice. That’s a good thing for the guys who are battling for starting spots like Alex Cappa and Earl Watford at right guard or Demar Dotson and Caleb Benenoch at right tackle. The more reps you can put on tape, the better.

So how is the culture different than it has been in the past?

One word…ACCOUNTABILITY. From telling Gerald McCoy, the face of the defense for nearly a decade, that he “isn’t as disruptive as he used to be” and his paycheck doesn’t match his productivity to calling Vernon Hargreaves out for sitting out of the first mini-camp practice with a “lingering injury” by saying “he needs to get his mind right for practice”. Arians is sending a message to his players that he doesn’t care who you are or what you’ve done in the past, nobody is bigger than the team or the game. This offseason, Arians has traded DeSean Jackson, let Kwon Alexander and Adam Humphries walk in free agency, released Gerald McCoy and brought in Ndamukong Suh. Make no mistake, this is Bruce Arians team now and he’s running the show his way.

He recently caused an uproar on social media after removing the infamous ping pong table from the Bucs locker room. Now he didn’t completely do away with it. From what I’ve heard, it has a new home in the player’s lounge next to the pool tables. But it’s out of the locker room for a reason. The same reason that he doesn’t allow music to play during practice. When Arians is on that field or getting ready to go out on to that field, it’s all business. It’s time to teach and learn, not screw off. During their down time, they can relax, play around, blow off steam and do some team bonding. But when it’s time to go to work, you’d better punch that clock and get to work. That’s the new Buccaneer way. You’re either on board with it, or you’re gone. He’s even on record saying that if you’re not in this with the goal and the mindset to win a Super Bowl this year, then you won’t be a Buc. He’s not playing around.

So how is this team different than it has been in the past?

Bruce Arians wants his teams to possess specific traits. He likes quarterbacks with balls as big as his. He likes speed and size at his skill positions. He likes a mean, nasty disposition on his offensive and defensive lines. He likes fast, aggressive linebackers. He likes big, physical cornerbacks. And he likes intelligent, ballhawking safeties. With the nearly 40 players that they’ve added to the roster this offseason and the players that are still here from last year, that’s exactly the kind of team that he’s assembling here in Tampa Bay.

It looks like the biggest difference between this team and years past is going to be physicality. They added free agent Earl Watford to play right guard next to center Ryan Jensen. He is a mauler in the run game and wants to fight MMA when his football career is over. Now they’ve brought in Ndamukong Suh to play next to Vita Vea and we all know what kind of player he is and what he brings to the table. Then they drafted a sure tackling inside linebacker, two more big corners and another hard hitting safety to add to the defense. This team has gotten much more physical during this offseason without a doubt.

There’s no question what Arians intentions are with this team. He wants to punish opposing teams. He wants to bully and beat opposing teams into submission. He wants to drop forty-burgers on every team that steps on the field with them. And he wants to dominate opposing teams in all three phases of the game by scoring points with all three phases. That’s what we can expect a Bruce Arians led team to do. And that’s the kind of football that we can expect in Tampa Bay this season.

So what does all of this mean for the 2019 season?

WINS! Lots of wins. More wins than this team has seen in over a decade. In 2012, Arians got his first shot as an NFL head coach with the Colts taking over for Chuck Pagano who was battling cancer at the time. He took over a team that had been 2-14 in 2011, and turned them into an 11-5 playoff team finishing the season 9-3 after taking the clipboard. Then he followed that up by going to be the head coach for the Cardinals who had finished 2012 with a 5-11 record and proceeded to go 10-6, 11-5 and 13-3 over the next 3 seasons. He is 58-33-1 as an NFL head coach making the playoffs in three of his six seasons. That’s a .636 winning percentage for those keeping score at home. The Buccaneers have a winning percentage of .386 over their franchise history, which is the worst percentage by far in the NFL. With his “dream staff” in place, a roster full of young, talented players, more offensive weapons than he knows what to do with and Jameis Winston at quarterback there’s no telling what Arians could do with this team. But you can guarantee that winning a bunch of games is on his to-do list.

So which players will flourish in these new systems under this staff?

Jameis Winston

With the “QB Whisperer” Bruce Arians, Byron Leftwich and Clyde Christensen all coaching him up this season and Arians “No risk it, no biscuit” downfield passing offense, he should have a career year statistically. If these coaches can get him to cut down on the mental errors and the silly turnovers, then this offense will be tough to defend.

Peyton Barber & Ronald Jones

Arians seems to be excited about both of these backs and what could do in his system. That’s evident by the fact that the team didn’t address the running back position this offseason besides signing Andre Ellington who’s been sitting on his couch for a year. Barber should build on his success from last season and Jones will silence his critics who called him a “bust” after a very disappointing rookie year.

Mike Evans, Chris Godwin & Breshad Perriman

These three will be one of the best receiving trios in the NFL this year. It wouldn’t surprise me if all three of them eclipse the 1,000 yard mark for the season in Arians passing offense. We already know what we have in Evans and Godwin, but the Bucs feel like Perriman might be their best free agency addition this year.

O.J. Howard & Cam Brate

Arians has never had a pair of tight ends like these guys and I’m sure that he’s chomping at the bit to find ways to utilize them in his offense. Look for them to be torching opposing defenses down the seams and be big targets in the redzone.

Vita Vea

This guy will be a beast in Todd Bowles aggressive, attacking style defense. Towards the end of last season, after Jason Licht turned him loose, he had 2 of his 3 sacks and 25 of his 28 tackles over the final 6 games. Now he’ll be returning to his natural position at nose tackle in Bowles 3-4 front and should be able to wreak havoc on opposing o-lines, especially playing along side Ndamukong Suh now.

Noah Spence & Shaq Barrett

Spence had a promising rookie season finishing with 5.5 sacks, but hasn’t done much since then. Barrett had 14 sacks in 4 seasons as a backup to Von Miller in Denver. Both guys should be able to get to opposing quarterbacks consistently from their outside linebacker positions in this defense.

Lavonte David & Devin White

I’m really excited to see these two guys playing at inside linebacker together. I liked Kwon, but I think White is an upgrade and David should thrive in this new system. They should be monsters in the middle of Bowles defense.

Carlton Davis, Vernon Hargreaves, Jamel Dean & Sean Murphy-Bunting

Yes, I think all four of these guys will have solid seasons. They’re all big, physical, fast corners which is what Bowles defense calls for from the cornerback positions. The Buccaneers haven’t had much success taking the ball away in a number of years, but I think that’s all going to change this year.

Justin Evans & Mike Edwards

Safety is now one of the deepest positions on this Buccaneers team after they added six new ones to the roster this offseason and moved M.J. Stewart into the group as well. Despite the competition, I think Evans and Edwards will emerge from training camp as the starters and will end up having big years.

So what’s my prediction for the Bucs record this season?

Typically, I don’t like to predict how many wins the Bucs will have in an upcoming season. Most of the time, I’m way too optimistic and end up being way wrong and way disappointed in the actual outcome. But this season, I’m so excited about this coaching staff that I just can’t help myself. So with that being said, here’s my way too early prediction for the Buccaneers record this season. You ready? Bruce Arians and his staff of merry men AND women will lead this team to an 11-5 record, which will clinch the NFC South division and earn them a home playoff game for the first time since 2007.

It’s a new day in Tampa Bay folks. I know that we go into every year with high hopes and expectations. And I know that those high hopes and expectations are usually smothered to death a few weeks into the season. But this year just feels different. There’s no hype about the “big name” free agents that were brought in. There’s no hype about being on Hard Knocks. There’s no hype from Good Morning Football or the NFL Network analyst. There’s no hype period. It’s just a feeling. From the players. From the staff. From the fans. From in and around One Buc. There’s just a feeling that something special is on the horizon. Something that hasn’t happened in Tampa for quite some time.

Winning football.

Ever since Jon Gruden was fired, Bucs fans have been waiting for a “captain” who can right this ship. It only took four head coaches in 11 seasons to find him…but I think we finally did. If you’re not “Super Bowl or bust!”, then walk the plank. Bruce Arians doesn’t have time for players or fans that “don’t have their mind right”. This new staff and their new systems will have this Buccaneers team pirating and pillaging it’s way into the playoffs for the first time since “Chucky” left. So if you’re not on board, then get on board. This should be one helluva sail this season!

Until then, as always…

GO BUCS!!!

Jon Hinkle

Jon Hinkle

My name is Jon Hinkle, also know as Deez Bucz to most Buccaneers fans. I have been given the opportunity by WhatTheBuc.net to do some writing about one of my favorite subjects...Buccaneer football and all that goes with it. This is my first public writing gig, so I'm hoping that I can entertain the fine fans of Tampa Bay while learning and gaining experience towards a possible new career in sports reporting. I hope everyone enjoys the fruits of my labor and I look forward to bringing some new and exciting stories to Bucs Nation! And as always.....GO BUCS!!!

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