Bruce Arians wants Buccaneers to remain “the hunter and not the hunted”

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The Buccaneers, with a team that won the most recent Super Bowl and that returns all starters on both sides of the ball for the first time in decades, will be wearing a bull’s-eye all year long. Coach Bruce Arians wants it to not be that way.

“I think for me I’m going to have to be harder; make sure that we stay the hunter and not the hunted,” Arians recently said in a feature posed at Buccaneers.com, via JoeBucsFan.com. “We’ve relaxed a lot already this spring. Teams are getting ahead of us right now but I think we can catch up quickly.”

Arians undoubtedly is referring to the fact that plenty of veterans opted to skip formal offseason workouts to do their own thing, led by quarterback Tom Brady. Arians knows that the various teams trying to keep the Bucs from becoming the first team to repeat since the 2003-04 Patriots took full advantage of their offseason programs.

That won’t matter to Brady, whose desire to turn his seventh Super Bowl win into an eighth will provide more than enough motivation for the rest of the team. But Arians knows that complacency becomes the biggest foe for any defending champion. They climbed the mountain. They’re trying to do the same thing they just did all over again, when 31 other teams that didn’t climb the mountain want to do it instead.

Arians previously said that “I’m going to beat the shit out of them” during training camp, and maybe that attitude will be enough to keep the Bucs from resting on their laurels. Far more effective, however, will be Brady’s unrelenting drive toward creating a legacy that no one ever will match.

Regardless, Arians knows that things can go haywire for a defending champ. For every one since 2004, something has happened between Week One and the Super Bowl to prevent another title. The Bucs could very well be the first team to run the gauntlet (one that now includes 17 regular-season games) successfully. They’ll need the mentality that they had last year, and it will take plenty of effort and focus and work and cussing from Arians to ensure that it happens.

Still, it all comes back to Brady. He showed his value last year. He’ll show it again this year. Although a second boat parade remains far from guaranteed, Brady will treat this year like every other year of his career. As he used to say, his favorite Super Bowl ring is the next one. He’ll be trying to get that next one during every year that remains of his career, no matter how many more next ones there may be.

23 responses to “Bruce Arians wants Buccaneers to remain “the hunter and not the hunted”

  1. Remember when a guy here told us Jarrett Stidham would be a viable replacement for Brady?

  2. I don’t think Coach Arians has anything to worry about. Several Bucs fans have recently assured me, that, because of their inherent awesomeness, they’re never going to lose again–ever.

  3. They barely made it to 11-5 last year by having the Falcons (twice) and Lions for their last three games. They were mostly unimpressive last year and with normal Super Bowl hangover are looking at 9-8 this year at best.

  4. Some core elements of developing a SB winner are very talented personnel [esp. at key positions],great coaching, flexible, innovative strategies. The two most important factors after that are relentless, repetitive hard practice and luck… no rash of injuries, personnel mishaps or other unforeseeable season-wrecking obstacles. Teams with great personnel and past success like the Bucs and Chiefs are deservedly the favorites but unforeseen setbacks and new surging competitors will make for an exciting season.

  5. Good luck selling that mindset Bruce. You have a bulls-eye on your back.

  6. Bring in Edelman in week 10 will be a big boost to the offense and can replace his knees in the offfseason. Don’t sleep on TB12 or TB defense

  7. “They barely made it to 11-5 last year by having the Falcons (twice) and Lions for their last three games. They were mostly unimpressive last year and with normal Super Bowl hangover are looking at 9-8 this year at best.”

    You mean the team with a new quarterback, no preseason games or training camp to speak of? Check out how they performed after the bye week when they finally started clicking as a unit. Unimpressive? They beat Brees, Rodgers, AND Mahomes!? The defense was outstanding with a front 7 as good as anyone’s in the NFL. Oh and on the other side of the ball…Antonio Bryant is your 3rd WR, and Gronk is maybe your 4th or 5th receiving option? Injuries are unpredictable and can derail any team in any season, but removing that variable this team is set up to win again.

  8. podppl says:
    July 10, 2021 at 1:03 pm
    They barely made it to 11-5 last year by having the Falcons (twice) and Lions for their last three games. They were mostly unimpressive last year and with normal Super Bowl hangover are looking at 9-8 this year at best.

    10 21 Rate This

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    One of the all time least impressive SB runs ever, replete with a gift 14 points before half.

  9. The Chiefs are still favored to win the next SB, not the Bucs. So a-hunting the Bucs will go. Kindly repeat till Brady gets the respect.

  10. Brady be nothing without Arians. Tom was a six round scrub made great by belichick.

  11. The Bucs have the 4th easiest schedule in the league. They returned all their starters and practically the entire coaching staff. They have no new system to learn.

    The NFC is pretty weak. Other than Tampa, who else is there? The Rams, 49ers, and Seahawks are all in the same division and will beat each other up. The odds are that at least one of those teams will likely be left out of the playoff picture. Green Bay may be without Aaron Rogers. Other than Tampa, the South looks pretty weak now that Brees is gone. And we all know the NFC East ain’t scaring anyone. Compared to the AFC, the NFC looks sort of weak. That’s why its going to be harder for the Chiefs to get back to the Super Bowl than the Bucs, in my opinion.

  12. touchback6 says:
    July 10, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    One of the all time least impressive SB runs ever, replete with a gift 14 points before half.

    Impressed or not, the Buccaneers still won it all. More than you can say about whoever you root for. They also had to beat 3 HOF QBs in the playoffs to do so. I think Tom Brady lives rent free in your head.

  13. It doesn’t matter, as long as you can keep Tom Brady healthy. Brady has had a target on his back since he won his first super bowl, but he proceeded to win six more. In 2008 he missed the season with an injury, and the Patriots missed the playoffs. So keep him healthy and you have a 50-50 chance to win another super bowl.

  14. If Philly hadn’t mailed it in in week 17, the Giants would have beaten Brady in the playoffs as usual…

  15. If Philly hadn’t mailed it in in week 17, the Giants would have beaten Brady in the playoffs as usual…

    ——

    The Giants are horrible

  16. golforepar says:
    July 10, 2021 at 9:39 am
    Sorry Bruce SB champ is always hunted!
    ———————————————
    I guess last season the other teams didn’t try to beat the Bucs and just let them win.

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