Bruce Arians' Anti-Analytics Rant Makes Football Sound Pretty Simple

Stephen Douglas
Bruce Arians doesn't like numbers.
Bruce Arians doesn't like numbers. / Alika Jenner/Getty Images
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Bruce Arians is an old-fashioned football guy. The 67-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach with a 56-39-1 record has no time for your fancy nerd numbers. Here's Arians going rogue on analytics on a recent Sirius XM NFL Radio appearance, as transcribed by Joe Bucs Fan:

"“I’ve actually heard of guys calling plays [using analytics] and I don’t know how that works,” Arians said. “I mean, run to the right, run a sweep, throw the ball. What the hell? I don’t need a computer tell me that. If you do, you’re not a coach. "

Football, which was presumably quite complicated, is actually quite easy when distilled down to run or throw. Imagine what kind of feel for the game you must have to not need to use any existing information to inform any decisions during a football game. I guess if your quarterback throws 30 interceptions in a single season that's actually evidence of that, but I still don't totally believe him.

"“If you gotta have a computer tell you to go for it on 4th-and-2, you’re getting your ass kicked. You ain’t going to make it. The computer said, ‘Go for it because you’re likely to win the game.’ No, you’re going to get your ass kicked.”"

Arians must understand that his decision to go for it on 4th-and-2 and not get his ass kicked is actually what makes the analytics work. For Arians, the only numbers that actually matter are quarterback height and weight.

" “I don’t have a math brain, you know, so for me [analytics] comes into play; dude is 6-5, 240, and he’s smart and he can throw, he’s probably going to be a good quarterback. Because I’ve see that. They’re named Peyton. They’re named Tom. So if that’s analytics, yeah sh--, I’ll use it.'”"

Being named Peyton or Tom is definitely an analytic that more teams should use when looking for a franchise quarterback. (Jameis Winston is 6-foot-5, but only listed at 231 so that's where it all went wrong for him.) There is a 100 percent Hall of Fame conversion rate for quarterbacks drafted named Peyton. The number is probably a little lower for Toms, but I don't have that figure readily available to me. Some nerd can figure it out for all Bruce Arians and I care.

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