New England Patriots

Things are hardly settled for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with the offseason getting weirder and weirder by the month. First, Tom Brady retired, than unretired. Now, the team’s head coach Bruce Arians is stepping away.

As first reported by the LA Times, Arians will retire from coaching effective immediately. Todd Bowles, who has been the team’s defensive coordinator since 2019, will take over as head coach.

Arians won’t be stepping away from football completely. According to the report, he’ll now begin a new role in the front office as a “senior consultant for football.”

The Buccaneers released a full statement from Arians Wednesday night. That statement reads, in part, “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.”

Shortly after the announcement, Brady shared a post on Instagram thanking his Tampa coach. “Thank you, BA for all that you have done for me and our team,” the post begins. “You are an incredible man and coach, and it was a privilege to play for you. You are a true NFL legend and pioneer for all the work you have done to make the league more diverse and inclusive.”

Many have pointed to the timing of Arians’ decision to step away, less than a month after Tom Brady decided to return from retirement. During Brady’s brief retirement, Fox Sports Radio host and former NFL lineman Rich Ohrnberger had tweeted on multiple occasions that the relationship between Brady and Arians was souring.

That report began to resurface with Wednesday night’s news. Following Arians’ announcement, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reported that “Brady was informed Bruce Arians planned to step down…either the same day or a day after the QB announced he was ending his retirement,” and that “[the] team insists it was not related to Brady’s decision.”

Arians began his coaching career in the college ranks, and led Temple from 1983-1988. He took his first NFL job as a tight ends coach with the Saints in 1996, and became the Colts’ quarterbacks coach in 2000, working with Peyton Manning. After stops in Cleveland and Pittsburgh – where he won two Super Bowls as an assistant coach – he returned to the Colts as an offensive coordinator before getting his first head coaching job in an interim role in 2012. The next year, he was hired as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, where he spent five seasons. After a year out of football, he joined the Bucs in 2019.

At 69 years old, Arians steps away from the sidelines with a career NFL record of 89-51-1. He’s a three-time Super Bowl champions (twice as an assistant coach, one as a head coach) and two-time NFL Coach of the Year (2012, 2014).

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.