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Bruce Arians says Jameis Winston ‘can win it all’ in NFL Network interview

Bruce Arians told NFL Network's Rich Eisen the chance to work with James Winston was among the key factors in his returning to the sideline after stepping down as Cardinals coach after the 2017 season.
Bruce Arians, left, and Jameis Winston, shown here when the Bucs played Oct. 15, 2017 at Arizona. Winston and the Bucs lost to Arians' Arizona Cardinals teams in 2016 and 2017. [Times files (2017)]
Published Jan. 10

One day before he was to be introduced as Bucs coach, Bruce Arians explained some of the factors behind his decision to come out of retirement, including the chance to work with quarterback Jameis Winston.

In a telephone interview Wednesday with NFL Network's Rich Eisen, Arians said the chance to work with Winston was among the key factors in his returning to the sideline after stepping down as Cardinals coach after the 2017 season.

"I'm really excited," said Arians, scheduled to be in Tampa  on Thursday for a 2:30 news conference to announce his hiring. "Everything fell into place and I became more and more excited about it. To be able to put what I think is one of the best staffs in the league together really got me excited, and I can't wait to get started.

He also is excited about the chance to leave the CBS broadcast booth and work with Jameis Winston, who while in middle school attended a a football camp Arians directed with his son, Jake, in Birmingham, Ala.

Arians assured Eisen he had no concerns about Winston's character while expressing his confidence that Winston can lead the Bucs to the playoffs and beyond.

"I've known him for a long time," Arians said. "We all make mistakes. He's made his and I've made mine, and I feel like I've got a great feel for him, and his excitement for the game.  His willingness to work is unbelievable. He's in the office at 5:00 in the morning. I have no qualms about that. "There's no doubt. Everything is going to be built around him."

"I think he can win it all. He has the intelligence, toughness and obviously the arm ability to lead a team. We got to put the right pieces around him, obviously we have to do some things defensively, but if anybody can do it defensively, Todd Bowles can do it."

Watch the full interview, including his comments on his relationship with Bucs General Manager Jason Licht and the opportunity to assemble "one of the best staffs in the league" — including Bowles as defensive coordinator.

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