How have quarterbacks fared in their first year with Bruce Arians?

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Known as a quarterback whisperer, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians likely has done plenty of shouting while working with a new quarterback for the first time.

The mere fact that the Bucs even had a spot for Tom Brady flows from the reality that Jameis Winston wasn’t good enough last year. Those 5,109 passing yards be damned, Winston had 30 interceptions and, in Arians’ estimation, failed to finish strong in December. Beyond Winston, let’s look at how other quarterbacks fared in their first seasons with Arians.

In 2013, Carson Palmer joined forces with Arians in Arizona. And Palmer threw 22 interceptions, against 24 touchdown passes.

The prior year, Arians returned to Indianapolis as the offensive coordinator in Chuck Pagano’s first season as coach. Then-rookie Andrew Luck had 23 touchdown passes and 18 picks.

In Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger had during 2007 the best first year of any quarterback who has worked with Arians at the NFL level, after Arians served for three seasons as the team’s receivers coach. Roethlisberger threw for 32 touchdown passes and only 11 interceptions.

In 2001, with Tim Couch as Arians’ pupil in Cleveland for the first time, Couch threw 17 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions.

Three years earlier, then-rookie Peyton Manning had Arians as a quarterbacks coach with the Colts. Manning threw 26 touchdown passes . . . and 28 interceptions. It’s a single-season rookie record that still stands.

Those numbers reflect the literal manifestation of Arians’ “no risk-it, no biscuit” mantra, one that Winston took a little too literally in 2019. As Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsFan.com explained on Wednesday’s PFT Live, Winston’s performance late in the year directly cooked his goose, with a season-ending pick-six in overtime against the Falcons providing the death blow.

How big was that final miscue? Ira believes that, if Winston had instead led the Bucs to a game-winning touchdown drive in overtime of that Week 17 game, Arians would have kept Winston.

Instead, it will be Brady with the Bucs. And Brady has never thrown more than 14 interceptions in any season of his 20-year career. In that time, he has 541 touchdown passes and only 179 interceptions, slightly more than 3:1.

That ratio will be tested during his first season with Arians, based on the manner in which most other quarterbacks have performed in their first seasons with Arians.

21 responses to “How have quarterbacks fared in their first year with Bruce Arians?

  1. Honestly, instead of talking about a QB whisperer, this dude is probably a QBs kryptonite

  2. Interesting. But as a beat reporter for the Bucs said last night, another Arians saying is “you’ll never go broke by putting money in your pockets.” Arains is no dummy and I highly doubt he’s inflexible. Gotta believe he and Brady will find a middle ground between a big play, downfield attack and Brady’s more customary short, precision passes.

  3. Might make sense to try to keep Winston. Arians Offense is designed to take some big shots. Tom can no longer throw bombs.

  4. he didn’ a pick one qb of his own that wasn,t (logan thomas) a bust. he got carson hurt a lot because of his play calling.

  5. I’m not sure what we’re supposed to take from this. A companion piece could be, How has Tom Brady fared in the his first year with a head coach. We have a small sample size, but it ended well.

  6. Patriots season ticket holder here. Tom Brady will Spread the ball around to whoever is open, long or short passes. The bucs just improved immensely. If the coaches call a smart gameplan then all will be fine.

  7. It doesn’t make sense use other QBs’ first season with Arians to speculate as to what Brady’s will be like. Brady is the second oldest veteran in the League and is legendary for his ability to read defenses. He won’t be slinging 50/50 balls way downfield and hoping for the best. As long as Tampa Bay’s O-line achieves decent protection and its talented WRs can run precision routes, Brady’s interception stats will stay much the same as always.

  8. They will both be fine. Veteran coach and veteran QB. Arians isn’t gonna all of a sudden change/make Brady throw 20 bombs a game. It’s crazy to think that would happen. I’m sure Brady will be happy to throw some more deep passes to Godwin and Evans as opposed to Edelman and Dorset though. (Who wouldn’t).

    TB is getting a great QB, even at 43, who will spread the ball around a lot more than Winston. Brate and Howard should be very good seeing 7-8 more targets Combined their way as well, which will help sustain longer drives.

    Will be interesting to see If Brady’s Red zone woes from 2019 were just a bad year with bad options or Father Time. Maybe both, maybe personel will change all that.

    As a life long Pats fan this isn’t how I envisioned it ending but I wish him the best and hope he has a couple solid years for the Bucs before hanging them up.

  9. Not sure I understand the point of this article. Does anybody think that at this point in his career that Tom Brady needs a QB guru as his coach? What exactly do people think Bruce Arians can teach Tom Brady?

    You don’t sign Tom Brady to coach him up. You sign him so you don’t have to worry about that position and you can spend more time improving other parts of the team. Say, oh I don’t know, the worst offensive line in the league that will get Brady killed if you don’t fix it?

  10. cjmcfootball says:
    March 18, 2020 at 11:18 am
    I’m not sure what we’re supposed to take from this. A companion piece could be, How has Tom Brady fared in the his first year with a head coach. We have a small sample size, but it ended well.

    ——————–

    He spent his first year on the bench, so I’m not sure what that tells us exactly.

  11. Didn’t realize the talent that Bruce had to work with throughout the years. Brady will be better than any of them had in reading defenses and making decisions. His experience will only enhance the Bruce affect.

    TB will be in playoffs and should do well.

  12. Brady doesn’t need to be fixed or whispered to. That’s the difference. Just adapt to Brady’s game with the talent that the Bucs already have and they will be competitive.

  13. None of those other QBs had anything like Brady’s experience or his ability to read defenses except Rothlisberger to some extent.

  14. I’m sure there have been some discussions between Arians and Brady about Tom’s roll in Arians’ offense. If. and when Tom signs, that enough for me. They will be fine together. That’s all that is important in Tampa Bay.

  15. realitypolice said: You don’t sign Tom Brady to coach him up. You sign him so you don’t have to worry about that position and you can spend more time improving other parts of the team. Say, oh I don’t know, the worst offensive line in the league that will get Brady killed if you don’t fix it?
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    Duh, huh! Excellent post, guy….

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