Former Arizona Cardinals are still playing for Bruce Arians
For five interesting seasons, Bruce Arians reigned as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. The team’s fiery leader was incredibly loyal, and was well-respected by many of the individuals who played for him. In fact, quite a few of his former Cardinals have now joined the 68-year old Arians with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A little over three weeks ago, the Super Bowl-bound Buccaneers signed a former first-round draft pick of the Cards to the practice squad. Linebacker
Deone Bucannon was then promoted to Tampa Bay’s 53-man roster on January 19th, just days before the NFC Championship game. The 28-year old took to the field for both Arians and Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles during the time he spent in the desert.
Backing up the great Tom Brady at quarterback for Tampa Bay is another former member of the Cardinals. Blaine Gabbert, a former first-round draft choice of the Jacksonville Jaguars, logged starts for Arians with the Redbirds back in 2017. The 31-year old veteran appeared in seven contests (five starts) for Big Red, completing 55.6% of his passes for 1,086 yards and six touchdowns.
Kevin Minter, a backup inside linebacker with the Buccaneers, was a second-round pick of the Cards back in 2013. The 6’0, 246 pounder appeared in 61 matchups, and was credited with 37 starts for Arizona. Minter totaled 15 tackles in 16 games (one start) for Tampa Bay this past fall.
Back on December 8th, the Bucs signed an offensive lineman who blocked for the Cardinals for two campaigns (2014-15). Ted Larsen, a journeyman guard who entered the NFL back in 2010, started 26 contests for Arians during his days with the Cards. Larsen was elevated to Tampa Bay’s active roster during the club’s current playoff run.
There are two former Arizona players who are currently residing on the Buccaneers practice squad. Quarterback Drew Stanton spent five seasons (2013-17) with the Cardinals. Guard Earl Watford was a fourth-round draft choice of the franchise back in 2013.
Two other one-time Cards are currently perched on Tampa Bay’s injured-reserve list. In late November, center A.Q. Shipley suffered a neck injury that will lead the 34-year old into retirement. Running back T.J. Logan, a fifth-round pick of Arizona back in ’17, missed the entire 2020 season with a leg injury that occurred during training camp.