Bucs’ Bruce Arians Reacts to Odell Beckham Jr. Joining the Rams

Bruce Arians

Getty Bruce Arians believes the Bucs can play better.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians raised a bigger concern about the Los Angeles Rams amid the recent signing Odell Beckham Jr.

Beckham, a three-time Pro Bowler, signed with the Rams as a free agent this week after clearing waivers by the Cleveland Browns. Arians said the Bucs wouldn’t be interested though media pundits pointed out a strong mutual respect between Beckham and Bucs quarterback Tom Brady. The Bucs (6-2) could see Beckham and the Rams (7-2) in the playoffs.

“That doesn’t affect us, and when it does, we’ll be ready,” Arians said about Beckham during Friday’s press conference. “Vaughn Miller, I would worry more about him if he’s healthy.”

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Miller, a three-time All-Pro linebacker, joined the Rams via a trade before the Nov. 2 deadline. He tallied 4.5 sacks and 19 tackles for the Denver Broncos before injuring his ankle in Week 7. The Rams anticipate Miller making his debut against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Tampa Bay had trouble with a tough Rams defense in their last meeting, a 34-24 Week 3 loss. The Rams sacked Brady three times and forced two fumbles.

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Arians: ‘Sometimes You Can Have Too Many Stars’

Arians alluded to the Rams’ cupboard being too full during his appearance on WDAE after the Beckham news broke.

“Sometimes you can have too many stars, we’ll see how that works out for the Rams,” Arians said on the radio show.

Arians knows that dynamic well with the Bucs’ wealth of offensive stars. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Rob Gronkowski have all received All-Pro honors in their careers. Tyler Johnson, Cameron Brate, and O.J. Howard make their share of plays, too.

Beckham joins a talented  receiver group with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods — until Woods tore his ACL on Friday according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Kupp already has 1,019 yards and 10 touchdowns. If Van Jefferson can get going again, the Rams will have three potent receivers.

Similar Scenario to Antonio Brown?

Arians has plenty of familiarity with the move by the Rams — the Bucs added an All-Pro caliber receiver with off-field baggage in Brown at midseason last year.

It worked out well for the Bucs as Brown caught 45 passes for 483 yards and touchdowns in eight games. That included a late-season game-winner at Atlanta.

Brown also scored a couple touchdowns during the Bucs postseason run, including one in the Super Bowl. He returned to the Bucs for 2021 on a team-friendly deal, and he produced again before an ankle injury in Week 6.

How Beckham joining the Rams will work has significantly more uncertainty, Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer points out. Brown actually played with Brady in New England briefly before joining the Bucs. Brown produced a Pro Bowl season in 2018, his last full season, arriving in Tampa Bay.

Beckham doesn’t have either of those things working for him, Iyer noted. Injuries have riddled Beckham’s career annually since 2017, but he has produced two 1,000-yard receiving seasons since then. Beckham also hasn’t ever played a regular season game with Stafford, they will start from scratch unlike Brown and Brady.

Regardless of how well or poorly it goes, Arians will have the Bucs ready if they see the Rams again.

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