State your case: is it too early to put Bruce Arians on the Hall of Fame radar?


Quick now: name three current NFL head coaches on a Hall of Fame trajectory.

Bill Belichick is obvious. Six Lombardi Trophies and 280 victories make it one. Then there’s Kansas City’s Andy Reid… provided, of course, that Le’Veon Bell doesn’t count the ballots. But then who?

Mike Tomlin of the Steelers? Perhaps. He’s 1-1 in the Super Bowl, has seven division titles and has never had a losing season in 14 years of training. All I know is he’s won as many Super Bowls as Bill Cowher, has a better winning percentage (0.650-.623) and just four fewer wins.

And Cowher is in Canton.

Or how about Pete Carroll of the Seahawks? He’s also 1-1 in the Super Bowl, with as many career wins (145) as Tomlin. And let’s not forget Sean Payton of New Orleans, who put the Saints on the map with a 0.638 winning percentage, won seven division championships (including the last four) and won the only Lombardi Trophy of franchise.

But let me throw you another name, one that you might not consider. What about the Bruce Arians of Tampa Bay?

He is a two-time NFL Coach of the Year. He’s won 60 percent of his starts (67-44-1) and more games (9) as an interim head coach than anyone in league history. He has two Super Bowl rings as an assistant coach. And he just defied the odds by winning a Super Bowl with a 43-year-old quarterback somewhere no team in NFL history has ever won one.

Its own stadium.

True, the sample size for Arians is relatively small. Seven years as a full-time head coach and almost another as an interim. But don’t blame the Arians. He wasn’t offered a job until he was 60… and look what he did with it: he had four unbeaten seasons in five years in Arizona, where he produced a 0.614 winning percentage. , including three stretches with 10 or more wins. , and place the cards in an NFC Championship match. Then he moved to Tampa Bay where, in his sophomore year, he pushed the Bucs to the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

And then beat Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes successively.

It deserves some sort of recognition, and maybe it’s included in this conversation. No, he is not a candidate for third place. At this point, I would say that position probably goes to Tomlin. But it’s a crowded area, and Arians is making an effort to be included. Plus, if he wins another Super Bowl… and, yes, time is running out… he could well catapult himself to third place.

I’m serious. Jimmy Johnson has coached nine seasons and had a 0.556 winning percentage. He also won only 80 games. But he’s won two back-to-back Super Bowls and is credited with building a Dallas team that won a third, along with Barry Switzer.

My point of view, “said NFL historian John Turney of Professional football journal said Arians, “Isn’t he currently on his way to the Hall of Fame.” But if he wins back-to-back titles, that changes – and that accomplishment propels him into Hall of Fame territory due to the rarity of that feat.

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