TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - The Buccaneers are going through Bruce Arians crash course, a rush to revamp this team in time for the regular season. After six months on the job, Arians has no regrets about coming out of retirement.
"It’s been fun,” he said. “Just the molding of the team from the draft to the first game and even a little bit after that. You’ll probably have your team by Thanksgiving and that’s always been the fun part. Working with Jason [Licht] and all our scouts and our coaches. Building a team and an identity – people want to say culture, I call it an identity – that’s the most fun in this business."
Accountability is just part of what Arians is trying to instill. He's hired the largest staff in the NFL -- 30 coaches that are here to teach. The Bucs haven't had this type of leadership since Tony Dungy.
"That’s coaching. That’s our job, is to put them in enough scenarios that they don’t get surprised by it. It’s just all habit. If you see us do these must-wins every day, put them in a really hard situation, so it’s not a surprise for them next year.”
After watching 90 guys go through voluntary work, Arians likes the effort he's seeing, collectively, but there are a few players that are standing out.
"Offensively, I’d say from when I got here and what I’d heard about Ronald Jones, he’s been outstanding. Scotty Miller, for a rookie, has jumped in there. Ali [Marpet] -- that whole front group of guys -- how tight they are up front. Defensively, just throw the rookies out the window, because they’re exceeding expectations already. But Lavonte [David], Vita [Vea], I could go on and on. It’d be more like who am I disappointed in, which is nobody.”
Arians has had just one losing season in his head-coaching career and that was by just one half a game. He's not giving into the national talk that Bucs will miss the playoffs for a 11th straight season.
"It’s an easy turnaround anymore. It’s a field goal. If you look back at some of the games that we lost in our division last year, they were close games. A play here, a play there. Those things, when you waste those, you’re a contender, you’re not a pretender.”