While most players and coaches avoid providing bulletin-board material for opponents during the playoffs, a select few have mastered the art through the years. Deion Sanders, Hollywood Henderson, and Joe Namath come to mind. Now, it appears, Bruce Arians wants to add his name to that prestigious list.
Over the past few days, Arians has been on a smack-talking tour de force, firing back at Washington star rookie Chase Young and, for some reason, trolling now-released Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins ahead the Bucs Wild Card playoff game against the unnamed team from our nation's capital.
It's an interesting tactic from a man who has never been shy about sharing his opinion considering Arians won't have to back up his bluster on the field. But it has provided good fodder for the soundbite crowd, like myself, and potentially a little extra incentive for the team his players are facing.
I suppose Young started the boasting war when he said he was coming for Tom Brady. However, Young was running off the field after Washington secured a playoff berth with a win over the tanking Eagles in Week 17 and didn't say it directly to the camera that caught the soundbite. Arians, on the other hand, had time to think about his retort and offered it the next day by saying to Young, "[be] careful what you wish for."
All's fair in love and rebuttal smack talk, but why'd Arians drag Haskins' name into the fire? The second-year pro has been off Washington's team for over a week following his mask-less strip club foray. Yet, while appearing on Mike Greenberg's radio show, Arians, when asked about playing a 7-9 team, said "We're not playing a 7-9 team, we're playing a 4-1 team. When Alex Smith plays, they're a 4-1 team and their turnover differential is +3. So we're not playing Dwayne Haskins, we're playing Alex Smith."
Outstanding troll job there. All factual too. It just seems like an unnecessary jab at Haskins -- or the sort of thing you'd see a Twitter egg post.
Anyway, all of this is to say I love what Arians is doing by writing checks his body doesn't have to cash. Sure, his mind will play a key role in how the Bucs perform against Washington and, possibly, beyond. But his mouth has already kicked off the festivities and seemingly won't stop until the Bucs season ends.