In Bruce we trust: Tampa’s winningest coach

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Bucs fans everywhere rejoiced when the team acquired Bruce Arians as its new head coach. I’ve never seen optimism this high in my ten years as a fan. I’ve never felt this much optimism myself. However, there’s still a healthy amount of skepticism amongst the fanbase. I can’t say I blame them; we’ve all been burned before. But I’m here to tell you, Bucs fans, we’ve never seen a head coach like Bruce Arians.

The charisma. The style. The foul mouth. What’s not to love? But none of that compares to BA’s sexiest attribute: he’s a winner.

That’s right. We have never seen a winner like Bruce Arians. In 25 seasons in the league, as both head coach and coordinator with various teams, he’s seen his team go to the playoffs 15 times. BA’s teams earned a .576 win-loss ratio over those 25 seasons. As a head coach, he had a .619 win-loss ratio and his teams went to the playoffs three of six years.

Amongst current NFL head coaches, he’s got the third highest win-loss ratio, beaten only by Bill Belichick and Mike Tomlin.

BA’s credited with a win-loss ratio of .691. This total only includes his win-loss from his five years at Arizona. The 12 games where he clocked a .75 win-loss as interim head coach at the Colts was credited to Chuck Pagano. When you add those games, his win-loss ratio goes up to .636.

Notice the coaches he beats: Sean Payton. Ron Rivera. John Harbaugh. Pete Carroll. Needless to say, I like our odds in the NFC South.

He stacks up even better compared to former Buccaneers coaches in the modern era (Tony Dungy forward). [Note: the coaches before Dungy aren’t even close so don’t think I’m manipulating the stats to prove my point.]

The only two head coaches that had prior coaching experience before coming to the Buccaneers were Jon Gruden and Lovie Smith. Their win-loss ratio before coming to the Bucs were .525 and .563, respectively. I’ll note that both men’s win-loss went down after being fired from Tampa, but both still have a positive win-loss in the NFL nonetheless.

Tony Dungy’s career win-loss is .668. He began his head coaching career in Tampa, earning a .563 win-loss ratio during his six years with the team. By the end of his career, his win-loss went all the way up to .668. (Seven years coaching Peyton Manning didn’t hurt – he earned a .759 win-loss during that time.)

The rest of the coaches post-Dungy didn’t even break .4 – a large reason they’re not still here – so I won’t put you (or myself) through a recap of those regimes.

A dose of skepticism may still be warranted – after all, Gruden and Lovie’s win-loss ratio did go down after coaching here. But there’s reason for optimism: We’ve never had a coach of this caliber in Tampa. If anyone can pull us out of this dip, it’s BA.

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Preseason standouts so far

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Besides the obvious standouts in preseason weeks 1 and 2 there have been a few unheralded players that should be pointed out. There are also a few players who should be called out to step up their game. Of course, Tanner Hudson, Ryan Griffen, and Spencer Schnell (in one game against the Steelers) are the obvious standouts. Without the coaches film it is very difficult, if not impossible, to rate the defensive secondary or the wide receivers. Actually, it is a crap shoot to rate anybody without the coaches film. With that being said, here are some players who have made an impact for explosive plays or doing really well for the few snaps they have gotten.

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[100] It’s our 100th episode. What’d you get us?

We review the week 2 victory against the Dolphins. Ralph talks surprises in David Kenney and Mazzi Wilkins. Bucs linebackers shine this week, especially Minter, Bond and Harris. Ralph does a 180 on Ryan Griffin. Andre Ellington drops in favor as Dare practices with the ones. Cole Boozer has a rough game. We learn more about the tight end role in this offense.

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[099] Dolphins preseason week 2 preview

The Buccaneers match up against the Miami Dolphins after two days of joint practice. Controversies abound in the Dolphins’ organization. Warren Sapp weighs in on Gerald McCoy’s comments. Plus, Sapp’s high praise for Todd Bowles. Bucs bring in WR Emanuel Hall. Is the injury culture moving out of Tampa?

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[098] Steelers, Dolphins, and roster moves

We eat a little crow on our initial analysis of the Steelers game. Ryan Griffin and our defensive line depth may have been better than we initially gave the guys credit for. The Dolphins join the Buccaneers at camp this week in advance of our Friday matchup. Which former Buccaneers make a return to town? With the decimation of our secondary, particularly the safeties, Buccaneers work out veteran safeties this week, signing former Bronco Darian Stewart. Plus, we discuss Ralph’s secret fantasy file (fantasy football, that is).

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[097] Bucs @ Steelers preseason week 1 review

Preseason Week 1 at the Pittsburgh Steelers was characterized by penalties, penalties, penalties. The youngry secondary was a no-show. First team offense moved down the field efficiently. Evan Smith has a terrible game. We question how Ryan Griffin has a job. Bucs return to practice this week, where they’ll compete against the Miami Dolphins. Bucs make some roster moves due to injuries and performance. Wide receivers coach Darryl Drake passes away at the age of 62. Drake coached at Arizona for BA from 2013-2017 and was currently with the Steelers. Chandler Catanzaro “retires”.

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[096] They’ll be wiping their tears with their terrible towels

Preseason is upon us! Molly breaks down the upcoming matchup against the Steelers. What’s Bruce Arians expecting out of this game? Who are the Steelers watching on their squad? What players will we be watching? Plus, Bucs announce country superstar Tim McGraw will perform before the Week 1 game. Injuries continue to be a storyline this training camp for the Bucs. This week, we lose S D’Cota Dixon and OL Michael Lietdke. Could Vita Vea be the next casualty? We’ll find out Friday. Bucs sign S John Battle and re-sign DT Stevie Tu’ikolovatu. Will they be the next men up? Around the league: Duke Johnson gets his wish. Morris Claiborne finds a home. San Francisco loses another starter for preseason, increasing our chances Week 1.

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[095] The depth chart is out!

Molly and Ralph go over the depth chart. Vita Vea is hurt. Lavonte David update. We discuss the turf at training camp and whether it contributes to these injuries. Ralph’s milquetoast response to towel holders. The offense is almost the exact same. Will the production be the same or better? And Ralph rants about Jameis Winston and Noah Spence.

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[094] Countdown to preseason: 4 days

Bruce Arians appears on HBO’s Real Sports and we learn nothing new. Jacqizz Rodgers signs with the Saints. Bucs invest in sports science this off-season. Will it pay off? Is the emphasis on analytics on its way out? Could Drew Bledsoe be the modern day Wally Pipp? Injury news from camp: Lavonte David’s “little knee”; Donovan Smith’s Achilles. Can Caleb Benenoch lose his job to Alex Cappa? We preview our preview of preseason game 1. The murals are up at RayJay. The state of defensive backs in today’s NFL. The kicking competition is hot in Tampa. Who has the edge? OJ Howard’s parents buy an ice cream truck.

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[093] Bucs football is right around the corner!

The Hall of Fame game kicks off the start of preseason and the Bucs play in a few days! The Bucs made some roster moves to get ready for it. With Trent Williams apparently wanting out of Washington, did the Bucs make the right move by signing Donovan Smith to such a large contract? We predict what the roster might look like and how the preseason games are going to determine who starts. Hint: Ralph does not think Justin Evans is going to make first team.

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