Let me start right now before the crazy media from New England (yes WEEI Radio) start the rumor that Tom Brady got Bruce Arians to step down as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach. I can tell you that both men not only got along but there is a genuine sense of admiration and respect the duo have for each other.
Arians talked to Peter King from NBC Sports earlier in the day about his relationship with Brady. As a matter of fact, it was Brady unretiring and rejoining the Bucs made him more comfortable leaving because the franchise is still in a good place and turning the head coaching job to his old friend Todd Bowles was the right thing to do.
“Tom was kind of the key,” Arians said. “When Tom decided to come back… and all of these guys back now, it’s the perfect timing for me just to go into the front office and still have the relationships that I love.”
Arians also shot down any rumors of friction between him and Brady playing a role in his decision.
“Tom was very in favor of what I’m doing,” Arians said. “I mean, I had conflicts with every player I coached because I cussed them all out, including him. Great relationship off the field.”
Also, to those who reported that Brady was going back to the Buccaneers just to get traded to Miami again nothing but click bait stories with no fact-based boots on the ground reporting. Brady likes the Buccaneers and the team ownership, front office and yes Arians.
So, now back to the story I began before I was so rudely interrupted by myself and that is Arians and why he stepped down as Buccaneers head coach.
Those who know Bruce Arians are aware of a couple of things. First, he is someone who loves being involved in football and second, he loves his family. Heading into the season only the Seahawks Pete Carroll at 70 was older than Arians and the Patriots Bill Belichick both are 69.
I am personally a bit surprised not that he retired (again he did that in 2017) but a bit at the timing. Then again since I first met BA back in 1982 when he was a position coach at Alabama, he is a man who when he makes up his mind, he follows his decision.
But rather than me talking about why he made the move from the sidelines to the front office here is Bruce in his own words in statement released by the team.
HERE IS HIS STATEMENT —–
I have spent most of the last 50 years of my life on the sidelines as a football coach in one form or another. Today, I have made the decision to move from the sidelines into another role with the Buccaneers front office, assisting Jason Licht and his staff.
I love football. I love the relationships, the strategy, the competition—everything. It has been one hell of a ride, but I know this is the right time for me to make this transition.
So why now?
The simple answer is that I have accomplished more than I ever dreamed I could during this incredible coaching journey. Winning Super Bowl LV at our home stadium, with my mom and family in attendance, was really the last item I wanted to check off my career bucket list. For me, this is about more than just trying to add more wins to my coaching record.
This team is in a much better place than it was three years ago due to Jason’s great work and the Glazer family’s commitment to winning. Before you start thinking this is about my health, don’t. This is the best I have felt in many years and I’m looking forward to helping this team continue winning through my new role.
I want to focus on what I can give back to this incredible game that has provided so much for me and my family. I really began thinking about my personal transition plan earlier this offseason. I wanted to ensure when I walked away that Todd Bowles would have the best opportunity to succeed. So many head coaches come into situations where they are set up for failure, and I didn’t want that for Todd. Tom’s decision to come back, along with Jason and his staff doing another great job of keeping the core of this team intact during free agency, confirmed for me that it was the right time to pass the torch to Todd. I began conversations with Jason and the Glazer family a few weeks ago about a possible succession plan. Their understanding and support mean the world to me.
Todd is a great football coach and I know he will do excellent things here with the Buccaneers. The coaching staff has been crucial to the success we have enjoyed here the past few seasons. Coaching is about teaching players, and this staff has some of the best teachers in the business.
Professionally, I have been blessed to work for many great organizations. I’d like to thank Michael Bidwell for turning my dream of being an NFL head coach into a reality in 2013. I would especially like to acknowledge the entire Glazer family for bringing me to Tampa Bay in 2019 and providing all the support and vision a coach could ask for. None of this success would have been possible without their complete buy-in and backing.
There are too many people who have played a part in my coaching career to mention them all now. To all of them, I say: Thank You. I could not have made it here without your support, hard work and belief in me.
I can’t end this announcement without a nod to all of the players I have been fortunate to coach along the way. I have been part of some special teams and those are always composed of exceptional players who put the needs of the team before their own. They made me a better coach and a better leader.
Lastly, I want to thank the fans of Tampa Bay for their unwavering support over these past three years. Chris and I arrived here in 2019 and were blown away by their enthusiasm and passion. I am happy we got to share that Super Bowl season together and I look forward to contributing to even more championship moments with this special organization.