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Fortune favors bold Bucs coach

It all starts with attack.

Agence France-Presse

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LOS ANGELES (AFP) — A willingness to take risks carried the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into Sunday’s Super Bowl and head coach Bruce Arians has no intention of changing.

Arians, who at 68 years old could become the oldest head coach to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy if the Buccaneers upset the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend, lives his life by a five-word philosophy: “No risk it, no biscuit.”

The inspiration for Arians’ approach comes from Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If,” which was pasted into a playbook by a colleague early in his career.”

“It just talks about not being afraid to throw your hat in the ring, not being afraid to fail or to win, how to bounce back and keep on going,” Arians said.

“I’ll hit a lot of the balls in the water going for the green in two knowing I can’t get there. But I ain’t going to get there unless I try. And the one out of 10 that makes it — it’s a great feeling. That’s how I live life.”

That bold approach was obvious last month when the Buccaneers upset the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field to reach the Super Bowl.

Arguably the key passage of the game came shortly before halftime. With 13 seconds left in the half, Arians and quarterback Tom Brady opted for, and made, a risky fourth-down conversion.
On the next play, Brady uncorked a 39-yard completion to Scotty Miller for a touchdown that put the Buccaneers ahead, 21-10, and with one foot in the Super Bowl.

“Each and every game you have a feel for how it’s going,” Arians said.

“How your defense is playing, how your offense is playing, and are the risks worth the rewards? I can’t say that we ever go in there saying ‘Hey, let’s throw caution to the wind today.’ A lot of it is gut feeling depending on the circumstances of the game.”

Yet, Arians says the Buccaneers do set out to impose themselves on their opponents in every department.

“It all starts with attack,” Arians said.

“We want to attack in all three phases — offense, defense, special teams.”

Over the course of a coaching career that has spanned six decades, Arians has forged a reputation as one of the National Football League’s most prominent “quarterback whisperers,” a coaching guru with an instinctive feel for understanding the psychology of the most important player on the field.

His career has included stints working with some of the greatest quarterbacks the game has seen, including Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and now the six-time Super Bowl champion Brady.

“One of Bruce’s great gifts is that he knows exactly what’s going on inside the head of his quarterback,” said Tom Moore, Tampa Bay’s 82-year-old offensive consultant who will be part of Arians’ staff this weekend.

Arians, meanwhile, has relished the opportunity of working with Brady.

Having been tempted out of retirement by the Buccaneers in 2019, Arians admits he could scarcely contain his excitement when the franchise landed Brady in free agency last year, realizing the quarterback could have a transformative effect on the Bucs’ locker room.

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