Why Bruce Arians decided to step aside for Todd Bowles after Tom Brady ended brief retirement

Former head coach Bruce Arians wanted to clear up a few things after stepping aside for Todd Bowles following Tom Brady's brief retirement.

As complicated and unique as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ offseason has been, former coach Bruce Arians wanted to clear up a few things. Including conspiracy theories surrounding why he retired weeks after star quarterback Tom Brady ended his brief retirement, resulting in Todd Bowles becoming the new Bucs head coach.

Why Bruce Arians retired after Tom Brady ended short retirement

Arians is now in a front office role. Bowles, his handpicked successor, is the head coach. And Brady is still rifling passes for the Buccaneers and selling his new underwear line.

So, how did this all happen?

Arians told the Tampa Bay Times he would probably have returned for another season if Brady hadn’t returned. That’s all because he didn’t want to leave Bowles, the Buccaneers’ longtime defensive coordinator, and the team in a bad situation.

“I was going the other way. I was thinking he wasn’t going to play,” Arians said. “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.”

Arians, now a senior advisor to general manager Jason Licht, still attends practices. His plan during the season is to attend practice every day, but not have the schedule of a full-time staffer. He’ll be home in the evenings.

Arians remains adamant that there was no friction between him and Brady after the playoff loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. Brady said last week that there is “zero (truth) whatsoever” to those reports.

Arians, who expressed concern about the lack of diversity in the hiring cycle, was pleased that Bowles, who is Black, is getting his second opportunity to be a permanent head coach after a previous stint with the New York Jets.

“It was time for the whole situation to change,” Arians said. “The narrative had to change. I was very upset with the hiring cycle.”

Todd Bowles becoming head coach all a part of succession plan

Arians emphasized he’s content with what happened. It isn’t all about him.

“If I coach, those 15 wins on my résumé don’t mean as much to me as succession,” Arians said. “Thirty-four families (of Arians’ assistants) have got jobs. They’re all set. They just got to win. It’s up to them, but they’re all set.

“This is everything. It’s the golden dream for me. I get to watch it. I know what’s going to be said. You just want to make sure our guys are taken care of. And if we win another Super Bowl, I still get to be a part of it.”

Aaron Wilson is the NFL Insider for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL.


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