Last offseason was a rollercoaster for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and this offseason is shaping up to be more of the same. Tom Brady retired from football last February, then unretired 40 days later, and soon after head coach Bruce Arians announced his retirement from coaching, moving into a front office role.
Arians hoped the transition to Todd Bowles leading the team would create some consistency within the coaching staff, but that is far from how things have gone. Before retiring from coaching, Arians explained that handing things over to Bowles was a way to control what happens with the team.
“I control the narrative right now,” Arians said last offseason (via NBC). “I don’t control it next February because [if] Brady gets hurt, we go 10-7, and it’s an open interview for the job. . . . I got 31 [coaches and their] families that depend on me. My wife is big on not letting all those families down.”
Flash forward a year and nine staff members are gone, including offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, something Arians is not thrilled about.
When asked how he feels about the turnover, Arians said, as Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (via WDAE radio) described it, that he’s not happy. Very unhappy. Extremely unhappy.
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In addition to Leftwich, other Buccaneers exits have included Chris Boniol (specialists), Kevin Garver (wide receivers), Jeff Kastl (offensive quality control), Lori Locust (assistant defensive line) and Todd McNair (running backs). Clyde Christensen (quarterbacks), Rick Christophel (senior offensive assistant) and Bob Sanders (outside linebackers) have decided to retire.
Stroud described Arians as disappointed with the situation, saying the former coach wanted his staff to stay together. Stroud speculated that because Arians is hurt by what happened, he does not know if we’re going to see him around much next year.
Arians’ contract is now retired, meaning he could also work somewhere else next year, though there are no reports putting him in a vacant head coaching spot.
There are questions with the team outside of the coaching room, including whether Brady will be a Buccaneer, or even in the NFL next season.
This was one of Brady’s worst years of his career. The Bucs had a losing record, going 8-9 and only winning the NFC South because of how weak the division was. Tampa Bay stood no chance against the Dallas Cowboys in the wild card round, losing 31-14.