Bruce Arians Reveals How Buccaneers Nearly Cut Leonard Fournette Before the Playoffs

Published 02/15/2021, 10:41 AM EST
NFL Football – Super Bowl LV – Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Kansas City Chiefs – Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida, U.S. – February 7, 2021 Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Leonard Fournette and Jaydon Mickens celebrate after winning the Super Bowl LV REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton


The Bruce Arians-coached Tampa Bay Buccaneers made their way to their second-ever Super Bowl title earlier this month. They sealed a 9-31 win over the defending champions, Kansas City Chiefs, on February 7th, 2020.

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They won 3 games on the road en route to an epic finale in front of home fans at the Raymond James Stadium. While Tom Brady grabbed headlines, another superstar who earned rave reviews was RB Leonard Fournette.

Dec 26, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (28) runs the ball against Detroit Lions outside linebacker Jahlani Tavai (51) during the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The former Jacksonville Jaguars man arrived ahead of the 2020 season as a free agent. He had a quiet regular-season rushing for just 367 yards in 13 games for the Buccaneers. But he turned things around in post-season rushing for 300+ yards with a touchdown in each playoff game.

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Bruce Arians singles out Leonard Fournette for special praise

Tampa Bay Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians revealed how they almost parted ways with Fournette before the NFL Playoffs began earlier this year.

“I (Bruce Arians) said, ‘This is your situation. It can change at the drop of a hat.’ Either embrace it, or you say, ‘Cut me.’ I said, ‘What do you want? Because this is a very special team that you’re part of.”

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“I think you’ve got a feeling of that. Just see if you can hang in there to see what happens.’ And he did, and I’m really proud of him,” Arians said via the Tampa Bay Times.

Fournette was one of the driving forces for the Buccaneers during their monumental playoff run this year. They went from NFC South bottom dwellers to the pinnacle of the league in a matter of 12 months. Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, and Fournette were all on the scoreboard during Super Bowl LV.

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Fans will be hopeful that their beloved stars will return to defend their title in 2021. Do you think the Bucs can make it 2 in 2?

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Daniel Arambur

1782 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

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