TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - In his first press conference as the new Bucs head coach, Bruce Arians said his door will always be open to former players.
After the media finished asking questions, four-time Pro Bowl tight end Jimmie Giles made sure he snuck in one more comment. He wanted to thank Arians for being so welcoming to all of those from the team's past.
"What people fail to realize, in a year, two years, three years, whatever [the] situation -- those same players that are playing now -- they're going to be former players," he explained. "They want to feel like, 'I'm invited back to come back and be a part of this thing.' That's family. Once you become a family, look at most of the teams that win: they're family-oriented teams, they have a lot of history, and that's why they win. I think that the pick they made today is going to make a big difference."
Giles believes the hiring of Arians will turn this franchise around. It's one that has failed to make the playoffs since the 2007 season.
"I want to see a winner here just like everybody else does," Giles said. "I'm a fan, my family's a fan, all of the former players are fans. We comes to the games every week just like everybody else. We're excited because of the pick that they made."
Super Bowl XXXVII MVP Dexter Jackson says the energy Arians brings to the table is one that has been missing for quite some time.
"A great coach, great guy," Jackson said. "Inviting former players back, that has been official. A lot of coaches that get jobs don't want to talk to former players. They feel like, I'm the new man here and I don't want [anything] to do with you. When he comes in and embraces a community, embraces a team, that embraces everyone else, and we want to come back. We want to be a part of it. You will see us around."
It seems former players will play a big part in the Bucs future.