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Bruce Arians ‘Had Tom Brady not come back, I probably would still be coaching’

Andrew Buller-Russ

Todd Bowles will be the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season, a major change from Bruce Arians. Especially considering the manner in which the change occurred.

Just 17 days after Tom Brady announced his unretirement, Arians announced he would be stepping down as head coach. Pretty strange timing with less than a month before the NFL draft began.

What made Arians announce his decision to step down months after the Buccaneers’ season had ended? Was it Brady that wanted a head coaching change?

Tom Brady’s return forced Bruce Arians to leave

Though nobody associated with the Bucs wants to admit it right now, TB12’s return seems directly tied to Arians walking away from coaching.

In fact, Arians went so far as to admit as much earlier this week while speaking to reporters about his decision of whether he should return for a fourth season as coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs.

“I was going the other way. I was thinking he wasn’t going to play. I was thinking about who are we going to get? Who wants to trade? There wasn’t anybody to draft. That was obvious. Me, to the public, I was fine with the two we had: Blaine [Gabbert] and Kyle [Trask]. Because I’ve seen Blaine win with a good team behind him. Had Tom not come back, I probably would still be coaching. I couldn’t give Todd that situation.”

Bruce Arians on his coaching retirement process

While Arians tries to play it off as him not wanting to hand Todd Bowles a bad team, or a bad situation, the reality could just as easily be that Brady didn’t want to go through another season with Arians at the helm.

As the team has claimed all along, it’s Byron Leftwich who coordinates the offense anyway, with Arians not having a major impact on the weekly gameplanning offensively. Maybe this change was all Brady was waiting on before he decided to come back for another year. Or maybe he’d prefer to keep working with Arians. Who knows.

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For now, Arians remains with the team, listed as a senior advisor to the general manager, which theoretically should keep him away from coaching, but that might be easier said than done for the Super Bowl-winning coach.

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