With some Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans clamoring for Bruce Arians to return to the sideline, the longtime head coach appears to have turned in his headset for good. During a December 30, 2022 interview with Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud, Arians admitted he missed coaching but added that he is “smart enough to know it’s over.”
“Would I love to be coaching? Yeah,” Arians noted. “It’s what you do. It kills me to go upstairs. I’m on the sideline in pregame and it kills me to have to go upstairs and just sit there. It kills me. It’s hard. It’s what I do. I’ve done it my whole life. I’m smart enough to know it’s over.
“It’s not the same. That daily interaction with the players and the coaches, the relationship I’m in. I sat and talked to Mike (Evans) and Vita (Vea) for an hour. The new guys are told, ‘That’s the old coach. You don’t want him cussing you out.’ I just (cussed out) a couple of them for the hell of it.”
It is also important to note that Arians handpicked Todd Bowles as his successor. The notion that Arians would return as the Buccaneers head coach with the team firing Bowles is not a realistic scenario. Instead, Arians will continue in his less demanding role as an assistant to the front office. Tampa Bay will officially induct Arians into the team’s Ring of Honor on January 1.
The Buccaneers Are Expected to Retain Todd Bowles as Head Coach for 2023
The current iteration of the Bucs makes the past two seasons as a contender look like a distant memory. Despite the team’s struggles, there are no signs that Tampa Bay will move on from Bowles.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Bowles signed a new five-year contract when he was promoted last offseason. According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Bowles does not appear to be on “shaky ground” with the Bucs, but it would not be a surprise if the team makes changes at the coordinator level.
“I do not get the sense that the two other disappointing coaches in the NFC South, Tampa Bay’s Todd Bowles and New Orleans’ Dennis Allen, are on shaky ground, but it wouldn’t surprise me if both of them (assuming they’re kept) made the kinds of coaching staff changes they didn’t make when they ascended to their posts last offseason,” Graziano wrote on December 14. “The Tampa situation is especially interesting because of all the unknowns around Tom Brady.
“If he decides he wants to stay in Tampa (and they decide they want to keep him), he could have some input in what happens with the offensive coaching staff. If he retires or decides to play elsewhere, the decisions about how to build the offense could be much different, depending on whom the Bucs get to play quarterback.”
Brady on Bowles: ‘I Really Appreciate What Todd Is Doing’
Publicly, Tom Brady has offered support for Bowles, but it will be interesting to see what happens behind the scenes this offseason when the quarterback becomes a free agent. Brady has admittedly not typically been incredibly candid during his media sessions, and could the quarterback push for coaching changes as a condition for returning in 2023?
“No one’s feeling sorry for us, no one outside the locker room can do much about it,” Brady noted during a December 15 press conference. “We’ve got to come together, and we’ve got to do it ourself. I think I really appreciate what Todd [Bowles] is doing. He’s putting it on us to fix it, and that’s what our responsibility is to do.
“…He’s just really allowed the leaders, the players to say, ‘You guys got to go out there and do it. We’re going to coach you up but you players got to go get it done.’ So, that’s what we’re trying to do.”