Bruce Arians: A Case Study Kyle Shanahan Can Learn From

What is the relation between solar systems, intelligent life forms and Bruce Arians? Bear with me.
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How many stars do you think exist in the observable universe?

Actually, let's forget the observable universe. What about our own galaxy, "The Milky Way," where there are an estimated 100 billion stars or solar systems? 

Here comes the question.

Do we have life in each solar system?

The answer is probably no. Even in our own solar system, we know there is no other intelligent form of life that exists. In a nutshell, life on earth is an anomaly. It should not be taken as the generic behavior of the solar systems.

What is the relation between solar systems, intelligent life forms and Bruce Arians? Bear with me.

After the Super Bowl in February of 2020 when the San Francisco 49ers gave away a 10-point fourth-quarter lead and lost, what if you told a random person that Bruce Arians might be in contention to be a Hall of Famer? He would first think you had totally lost your mind due to the fact that you could not digest the loss, or the fact that Shanahan blew another Super Bowl.

But look at it now. Fast forward 15 months. Bruce Arians won the Super Bowl as the head Coach of Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is ready to have another go at it with all 22 starters returning to the team. Tell me you would not have been shocked even to think about it 15 months ago.

A simple answer for all above would be, “Life is strange, You never know what happens.” But is it that simple? Let's take a step back and think.

After the Super Bowl loss, it was evident that Jimmy Garoppolo can not bail out the 49ers when Shanahan messes things up even so slightly. To win a Super Bowl, you need a quarterback who can deliver when it matters the most. But I am not going to make this article about how awesome Tom Brady is at 43 years old, so let's get back to our case study -- Bruce Arians.

Bruce Arians is 68-years old. He has coached almost 25 years in the NFL and 2021 will be his sixth as a head coach. He has won AP NFL Coach of the Year twice in 2012 and 2014. Won the Super Bowl twice as an assistant coach. Still, nothing comes close to his Super Bowl win as the head coach.

To be fair, Tampa’s season was helped by the pandemic. For example, they played three road games to get into the Super Bowl, where stadiums were almost empty. There is no need to explain how hard it is to win three road games, especially in the playoffs.

Having said all of the above, what did stand out when you analyze this achievement is how smart Arians was to grab the opportunity to accept Tom Brady onto his team. I used the word “accept” in the last sentence for a reason.

Not only did Arians acquire Brady, he also allowed Brady to take over. He brought Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown with him. Coached and mentored other players. Above all, Arians grabbed the opportunity without a blink of an eye.

Kyle Shanahan had the same opportunity to trade for Brady if he really wanted to, but never did.

Arians understood something really important. Most NFL teams are searching for long-term success. But the problem with that is the nature of the game and injuries. One single unfortunate event can set back years of hard work. In this league, you have to make bold decisions and do the unthinkable if you want to succeed.

One reason for the above line of thinking is the “Patriots” effect. People think greatness is the “Patriot Way." If that is the definition of success of an NFL team, then you are seriously delusional. Winning six championships in 20 years might look like an achievable task, but I can assure you, in one of the most competitive sports leagues in the world, it is an anomaly.

You need to remember there are 12 teams to this date that have never won a Super Bowl. The Vikings had a 15-1 regular season, but a single missed field goal from Gary Anderson crushed it.

This is why I bought my example of intelligent forms of life earlier. Do not try to look out or simulate anomalies. It is called an “anomaly” for a reason. Forget the New England Patriots and their six Super Bowl wins. Look for a way to get that ring without wasting too much time or planning 10 years into the future. If the opportunity is there, don't think twice.

Right now there is one coach following this theory and his name is Sean McVay. He threw a bunch of draft picks to get Mathew Stafford and give his best shot at that ring. Only time will tell whether he jeopardizes the future of the Rams or leads them to glory. But that is the way you should plan.