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Note to Bruce Arians: There is no "I" in "team"


I'm not a fan of Bruce Arians -- miss the Whiz and all that. Also, I'm an academic and tend to parse words. So maybe I'm reading too much into how Bruce Arians speaks when he says:

I don't have a fullback. There's no fullback in my offense, there's never going to be one.

I have several problems with this quote:

1) We don't have a fullback. Our main running back wants one, and last month Bring Back Dan Kreider's post convinced me we run better with a fullback, so I think it's reasonable to question Arians' judgment. However, this isn't actually my main complaint, because as bad as Bruce Arians is, he has more football knowledge in his little pinky than I do in my entire body. And I'd need to recommend someone to come off the 53-man roster so that we can have a fullback, and this post isn't about the roster: it's about Bruce Arians.

2) He said: I don't have a fullback. Not: we don't have a fullback, our offense doesn't have a fullback, or the team doesn't have a fullback. And he said: my offense. To me this suggests that Arians, on some basic emotional level, doesn't work well with others. If I were reading this ungenerously, I'd say he's an egomaniac.

3) He said: there's never going to be one. To me this displays a distinct lack of flexibility in his thinking, the same lack of flexibility we see in his situational play calling. Never? Really? Even if the best available player when we draft happens to be someone we think would make a great fullback?

Now maybe BA is getting sensitive about people questioning his judgment, so he wants to emphasize that this is his team, not the reporter's, and by saying never he hopes to shut down further inquiry. But I can't imagine Tomlin or Lebeau talking about the team in the same way (if anything, Tomlin is overly fond of using "we"). If BA can't take some public criticism or if he is unwilling to admit when he has made mistakes, how will this offense improve?

By the way, the quote in context can be found here.

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