Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is loving the chance to lead a team quarterbacked by Tom Brady, and doesn’t foresee his tenure coming to an end even if the Bucs hoist the Lombardi Trophy after Super Bowl LV.
Arians spoke out Wednesday about what his future plans likely entail and how he sees at least next season playing out.
Bruce Arians wants to return for 2021 season, win or lose Super Bowl LV
Well, that phrasing is very apropos of Arians’ “no risk it, no biscuit” mentality.
Arians initially retired from coaching in favor of a broadcasting career following the 2018 NFL season, but that time in the booth was short-lived. He wound up accepting the Buccaneers head coaching job prior to last season, and led the team to a 7-9 record.
Then-quarterback Jameis Winston threw an NFL-record 30 interceptions, yet the team still remained competitive. With the addition of Brady this year, even with the CVOID-19 pandemic complicating the schedule and wiping out the preseason entirely, Arians has led his Buccaneers to a Super Bowl berth.
Why Bruce Arians’ return in 2021 makes a lot of sense
There’s little reason for Arians to walk away from the game following Super Bowl LV. Although his relationship with Brady did have some growing pains as the Bucs got off to a 7-5 start, once the Week 13 bye hit, Tampa Bay hit its stride, and won seven straight games, capped by a 31-26 win over Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game.
Even though Brady is 43 years of age, he’s showing no signs of slowing down. If he’s not in his prime anymore, it’s not really showing, as he posted the second-highest Pro Football Focus grade among quarterbacks in 2020.
It’s true that the Bucs’ front office has some serious decisions to make on key free agents such as receiver Chris Godwin, pass-rusher Shaquil Barrett and linebacker Lavonte David. But really, who wouldn’t want to run it back with a players’ coach like Arians, the GOAT QB in Brady and, in all likelihood, plenty of outside interest from veterans who’d want to join the team this coming offseason?
If the pandemic isn’t as much of an issue leading into next season, which is obviously the hope, the Bucs will have more time to meet, build chemistry and get on the same page. It’s a testament to the leadership of Arians, his coaching staff and Brady, along with all the players buying in, that Tampa Bay is, along with the Kansas City Chiefs, among the last two teams standing in the NFL playoffs.
The NFC South seems really up for grabs next season, too. Atlanta has a new regime, Carolina is still rebuilding and New Orleans has a big question mark at quarterback with Drew Brees likely retiring, not to mention a massive salary cap deficit.
Imagine what Arians could do with another year on Brady and his coaching staff (hopefully) intact. Despite qualifying for the Super Bowl, in a lot of ways, these Arians-Brady Bucs seem like they’re just getting started.