The Bucs are going with Bruce Arians as their new coach, and I like the hire. He could be the guy to get top-10 numbers out of Jameis Winston. There’s plenty of talent there, and Arians has a strong track record of putting together good passing offenses.
Arians is an older guy, of course – 66, and he’s a prostrate cancer survivor. I don’t think he’ll be there for years and years. But instant impact is more important (let’s win now and worry about 2021 when we get there).
In five years as the head guy in Arizona, he went 49-30-1 (with a 1-2 mark in playoff games).
Arians likes to aggressively go after defenses, with lots of downfield passing. His offenses also tend to throw more interceptions, but I like the mentality of at least going down swinging.
Arians has been either the head coach or the offensive coordinator of 11 NFL offenses (2007 to 2017 until sitting out this season). All but one of those offenses ranked at least 15th in passing production using standard scoring (6 points for touchdowns and 1 for every 10 yards). The one that fell short (2014 Cardinals) had injury issues, with Carson Palmer starting only 6 games – they were down to Drew Stanton and even Ryan Lindley at quarterback.
Winston has issues that need to be cleaned up. He’s had too many off-field problems, and he’s been too prone to making mistakes in key situations. But Arians could be the guy to get him going. They’re certainly blessed with a pretty sweet receiving group.
On this chart, the “rank” number shows where they placed among the league’s 32 franchises, using standard fantasy scoring.
|BRUCE ARIANS / PASSING PRODUCTION|
Arians’ offenses haven’t tended to be as reliable running the ball. Only two of his 11 offenses ranked in the top 10 in rushing production. But I’m not ruling out the possibility just yet that there could be a top-10 running back in that offense. Arians tends to lock in on one heavily featured guy (he’s not a big fan of the committee approach), and Arians showed with David Johnson that he’s got a good feel for how to work a running back into the passing game (which isn’t reflected in this chart, which shows only rushing numbers).
|BRUCE ARIANS / RUSHING PRODUCTION|
It’s early to be locking in on forecasts. Let’s see who’s on the teams. But in a general sense, I expect I’ll have Winston graded as a lesser starter – maybe among the first 10 quarterbacks on my board (but there are a lot of good ones out there).
In Arians’ 11 seasons running offenses, he’s had six quarterback put up top-15 per-game numbers. That’s again using standard scoring, which tends to discriminate against the immobile pocket passers (like Palmer and Roethlisberger).
On this chart, I’m showing all quarterbacks who started at least half of a season under Arians. I’m also sneaking in a couple of Palmer seasons where he fell just short of starting eight games (so no “rank” on those years).
The fantasy points (per start) numbers on this one including rushing production and 2-point conversions. Those numbers were left out of the chart to make it slightly less unsightly.
|BRUCE ARIANS' QUARTERBACKS|