Bruce Arians sounds like he’s done with the Bucs after last season
By Josh Hill
Despite stepping down as head coach before last season, Bruce Arians had an impact on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he’s not very happy about it in retrospect.
Hindsight is everything, especially in a game with stakes as high as the NFL. Every play is scrutinized and massive moments can be reduced to things as minuscule as whether a guy looked right or left at the right time.
For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, last season was a dumpster fire that continues to be assessed and reassessed as everyone tries to figure out what happened. The team went from potential Super Bowl favorites in the final year of Tom Brady’s career to limping into the playoffs with a losing record before being put out of its misery in a Wild Card blowout.
Simply put, last year sucked.
That’s a blunt assessment, but the Bucs are still living in the shadow of perhaps the most blunt person to have ever walked through the franchise’s front door. Bruce Arians helped change the culture and bring a Super Bowl to Tampa Bay, and he’s hardly lost his edge when it comes to calling things as he sees them.
In this case, Arians is looking back at last year and trying to figure out where things went off the rails. His assessment has less to do with injuries or off-field distractions and more to do with coaching. Specifically, Arians thinks he was a problem last year and doesn’t sound very pleased about coming to that realization
Bruce Arians takes some blame for Bucs losing season last year
Arians spoke at an event in Florida recently, and addressed the way things went for the Bucs last season. Rather than throwing any of his former coaches or players under the bus, Arians shouldered some of the blame for how things went.
In his mind, he was around the team too much and didn’t allow Bowles to do his thing. That’s something Arians plans on correcting this year.
"“It’s his imprint now; it’s his footprint. And that’s the way it has to be,” Arians said of Bowles. “And I think I might have been around too much last year. You know, I’m not going to be around that much this year on purpose because it’s his. Whatever the Bucs need I’m going to be there, whatever Jason needs or whatever Todd needs me, but I’m going to step back and get out of the way.”"
Some fans might interpret this as Arians being another in a long line of folks from the Super Bowl team to jump ship before it goes down. Instead, this seems like Arians genuinely feels as though he stepped on toes last year and prevented the guys he handed the keys the key to from being able to drive the car.
Arians wasn’t shy about how upset he was that Bryon Leftwich was fired, and this sort of statment makes it clear that he’s done some serious thinking about what went wrong and why. The whole point of him stepping aside when he did was so that guys like Bowles and Leftwich were in the best possible position to succeed, and that didn’t happen.
The fact that Arians is taking some of the blame shows an insane level of leadership, but also shows that he has immense respect for the coaches.