As revealed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday night, Bruce Arians, who has been their head coach for the previous three seasons and has guided the club to a Super Bowl championship, will serve as a consultant in the organization’s front office. Todd Bowles, the defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will take over as head coach in the wake of the firing of Bruce Arians.
Despite his cancer diagnosis, Arians said in a statement that his surprising decision to resign had nothing to do with his health. His decision was announced to his coaching staff and players late on Wednesday evening, after leaving early from the annual N.F.L. meetings in Palm Beach, Florida.
“I have done more than I ever believed possible throughout this fantastic coaching adventure,” Arians expressed his gratitude. “For me, this is much more than simply attempting to improve my coaching record by winning more games.”
Arians’s decision comes only a few weeks after Patriots quarterback Tom Brady announced that he will return to the Buccaneers for a third season, his 23rd in the National Football League, rather than retiring.
Bowles, a Black man, will become the sixth head coach of colour in the National Football League at a time when the league is being criticised for not doing more to encourage diversity in its coaching ranks. Bowles will be the sixth head coach of colour in the N.F.L.
During his coaching tenure, Arians has earned a reputation for elevating coaches of colour. In Arizona, he established a fellowship that compensated former players who belonged to groups that were underrepresented in the coaching ranks for up to two years of coaching. His offensive, defensive, and special teams coordinators were all African-American while in Tampa.
After starting to consider about his “personal transition plan” early this off-season, Arians said he has been in contact with General Manager Jason Licht and the Glazer family, who owns the club, for a few weeks. The reason for this was to make sure that Bowles, who was a teammate of Arians’s at Temple University and later served as defensive coordinator for both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Arizona Cardinals, would have “the greatest chance to succeed.” Bowles will be taking on his second full-time N.F.L. head coaching position after spending four seasons with the New York Jets, where he finished 24-40 in four seasons.
Arians has an 80-48-1 record as a head coach in the National Football League, good for a.624 winning percentage. While serving as interim coach for the Indianapolis Colts, the Cardinals, and the Buccaneers during his eight seasons as head coach, four of his teams made it to the post-season. During the 2020 season, the Buccaneers earned their second Super Bowl championship under Arians’ leadership.
The Los Angeles Times and NBC Sports’ Peter King were the first to disclose Arians’ resignation, which came after he was chastised for his treatment of wide receiver Antonio Brown when in charge of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There would be no second chances for Brown, who joined the Buccaneers in 2020 after serving an eight-game suspension for his role in an altercation at his residence and for sending threatening texts to a woman who had accused him of sexual misconduct. Arians said there would be no second chances for Brown. The controversy surrounding Brown didn’t go away. Among other things, Brown seemed to have misrepresented his immunisation status. When Brown was not cut, Arians was questioned about whether he had backed down from his pledge to take a tough stance on the issue.
This season, Brown stormed off the field in the midst of a game against the Jets and was released from his contract with the organisation. Brown and Arians came up with contrasting narratives for what happened throughout the event.
Originally from Virginia, Arians started his coaching career in 1975 at Virginia Tech before going on to coach at Mississippi State, Alabama, and Temple, where he served as head coach for six years. His first coaching role in the National Football League was with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1989, when he was the running backs coach.
He worked as a tight ends coach for the New Orleans Saints before returning to collegiate coaching, where he rose to the position of quarterbacks coach for the Indianapolis Colts when Peyton Manning joined the team in 1998. His first three seasons were spent in Cleveland, where he was the offensive coordinator for the Browns. After that, he went on to spend eight years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, during which time the club went on to win two Super Bowls.
After the 2017 season, Arians announced his retirement from the Cardinals, citing health concerns, before returning to the team to take over as head coach of the Buccaneers a year later. In 2020, Brady signed with the club as a free agency after his release from the New England Patriots the previous year. When asked about winning Super Bowl LV that season, Arians said that it was “essentially the final thing on my professional bucket list.” It was his first title as a head coach.