Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians didn’t get giddy over his team successfully returning all 22 starters from its 2020 Super Bowl team.
Arians praised the front office staff for bringing back the key free agents in an interview with the Loose Cannons podcast but didn’t mince words on what he expects next for the Bucs going forward. The 45-minute interview contains NSFW language.
“We’re going back to basics, and we’re going to have one h— of a training camp and know what our foundation is,” Arians said.
He added a little message for the incoming rookies for the 2021 season with the NFL Draft a month away.
“They’ve got to win that practice every single day,” Arians said.
Arians won’t be getting rid of his accountability sheet for the team either.
“We put up every penalty, every mental error. So if your name’s up there … you’re a– better be off that sheet or you won’t be here,” Arians said.
Tampa secured bringing back a 22 starters through re-signing its free agents over the past two weeks, capped by the re-signing of running back Leonard Fournette on March 26. The Bucs franchise tagged Chris Godwin and re-signed tight end Rob Gronkowski, defensive end Ndamukong Suh, and linebackers Shaquil Barrett and Lavonte David along the way. David, quarterback Tom Brady, and offensive tackle Donovan Smith took salary cap-saving extensions to help the Bucs keep its core.
“And Jason (Licht), Mike Greenberg, Jackie Davidson, have done a great job of getting our guys back,” Arians told Loose Cannons about the Bucs front office.
Better in 2021
Arians expects strides forward for the Bucs in defense of their Lombardi Trophy.
“We actually get to practice and figure out what we’re really doing and know each other,” Arians told Loose Cannons. ” Because last year, we couldn’t even eat together — be outside, four feet, six feet apart at different tables.”
Arians admitted that video conferencing isn’t his thing though it became the norm for league business amid COVID-19.
“I need to be looking you dead in the eye,” Arians said.
Tampa has strong leadership among its players, starting with Brady, who called Bucs quarterback coach Clyde Christensen the morning after the Super Bowl win about how playing better in 2021. Brady tweeted about going back to working out for an eighth Super Bowl ring less than a week after the game.
“And the guys who were average about it, those guys raised their level,” Arians told Loose Cannons about the team’s leaders in the 2020 season. “They raised the level of preparation, of practice.”
With that said, Arians said it takes some luck, too, which happened in 2020.
“We were pretty healthy. We didn’t get wiped out like some teams,” Arians said.
Arians told Loose Cannons that he works from home during the offseason, including during free agency and preparing for the draft. He added that he goes into the office 2-3 times per week, for office work, watching game film, and connecting with Licht.
“I can watch more tape in there than I can at home,” Arians said. “I get tired of using my finger back and forth on the iPad when I can have that clicker in the office.”