Bruce Arians said during a press conference Thursday that reports of friction between him and Tom Brady “couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Arians, 69, announced on Wednesday that he was stepping down as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to take a front office position with the team. His decision to step down came after quarterback Tom Brady decided to return to the team for another run.
“We have a great relationship,” Arians said of Brady. “I mean, all of the players — there are a few of them here — every one of them’s gotten cussed out, including him. So that’s just part of me, you know? That’s nothing new, but we have a great relationship. As soon as he retired, I think we texted every week. ‘Where you at? What are you doing? When are you gonna come play golf? When are you getting back down this way?’ And so … people gotta write s—, and it couldn’t be further from the truth.”
The decision for Arians to step down came about two months after the Buccaneers were eliminated from the postseason and less than 14 months after he led the team to a victory in Super Bowl LV over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Arians went into details of the decision during the press conference.
“A number of people have already asked, ‘Why are you stepping away from a chance to go to the Hall of Fame and win another Super Bowl?’ Because I don’t give a s— about the Hall of Fame,” Arians said. “Succession is way important to me. This has been my dream for a long time. Guys that know me, they knew I wanted one of my guys to take over.”
Tampa Bay is promoting Todd Bowles to its new head coach. Bowles had served as the defensive coordinator for the Buccaneers since 2019. He was previously the head coach of the New York Jets from 2015-2018.
“Guys that know me, they knew I wanted one of my guys to take over. And that’s more important to me than anything, and have a place that I could go and be welcomed back,” Arians said. “And obviously, I have a job now and the title’s pretty good. We’ll figure out what the hell it means, but it’s pretty damn good. And I get to stay and have the relationships that I love, and I couldn’t turn it over to a better person. … Todd’s going to do a great job.”
TOM BRADY ISSUES STATEMENT ON FORMER HEAD COACH BRUCE ARIANS
Arians started thinking about leaving his position as Buccaneers head coach after the season, but it wasn’t the right time, he said. Once Brady decided to come back, Arians said the decision was “easy.”
“Obviously, going through the combine, going through that process, and trying to build next year’s team without Tom,” the coach said. “And then when Tom said he’d come back, I said, ‘Now it’s easy. Now it’s easy.’ We’re in the best shape we’ve ever been. It’s no better time to pass the torch than now. I don’t know what February brings, but I know what today brings, and it makes me really happy.”
Brady thanked his former head coach on social media Wednesday.
“Thank you, BA for all that you have done for me and our team. 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,” Brady wrote on Instagram.
In three seasons with the Buccaneers, Arians led the team to a 31-18 record in the regular season. He previously served as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals from 2013-17.
Source: Fox News