“Tampa Bay-A Surprising Change”
We knew there would be changes in Tampa Bay when they were knocked out of the playoffs.
What has happened in a two week span is truly surprising.
The quarterback retired, then came back.
The head coach has walked away from the game.
Tom Brady retired for 7-weeks and has now returned.
Bruce Arians has decided to leave.
Head spinning to say the least.
The fiery 69-year old Arians , a two time cancer survivor, who did his job, wearing every type of protective mask possible, exits on his own. It was not his health, though there are rumors of hear issues.
It is not a deteriorating relationship with his quarterback, whom he welcomed back.
It was not because of selfish players like Antonio Brown.
He reached the reality he had accomplished all he could as a coach and was forever thankful of what what the Rooney family (Pittsburgh), Mike Bidwill (Arizona) and the Glazer family (Tampa Bay) afforded him. The chance to do what he wanted, be a head coach, and then win a Super Bowl.
A firebrand of a personality, who demands dedication and toughness, Arians touched players lots of different ways.. He knew their hot buttons.
Brady wrote a fascinating farewell piece on Instagram, thanking Arians for coaching him to the limit in their two years in Tampa Bay, saying more about Arians than Brady ever said about Bill Belichick, with whom he won 6-Super Bowl rings.
He leaves behind a legacy of great success and great relationships. He hand picked Todd Bowles as his replacement. Arians wanted the right to hand pick his replacement, and did it with the approval of the Rooney Rule, promoting a black to replace him, without conducting interviews with outside candidates..
Bowles went (24-20) in New York with the Jets before being dumped, and most thought he would get another chance to be a head coach, though not imagined it this way.
What is not very well known is that Arians has 11-black assistant coaches on his staff, three minority coordinators, and a female assistant too. Tampa Bay leads the league in minority hiring. In fact Bowles becomes their fourth black head coach, a tradition that began with Tony Dungy.
Arians says he hired the best assistants he could, not black assistants, but quality assistants.
He leaves with an (89-51-1) record between the Cardinals and Bucs, and a reputation of doing things his way, a winning way.