Bruce Arians made the surprising decision to step down as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach.
According to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, Arians informed staff and players of his decision Wednesday night. The team is expected to introduce defensive coordinator Todd Bowles as the new head coach on Thursday.
With Tom Brady walking back his retirement, Bowles is leaving behind a Super Bowl contender. One would think Brady's return may have motivated Arians to delay his retirement another year, but the 69-year-old said it held the opposite effect.
Per Farmer, Arians felt more comfortable giving Bowles a championship-worthy squad.
“[I don’t need to] win another 15 games for me to be happy,” Arians said. “I’d rather see Todd in position to be successful and not have to take some [bad] job. I’m probably retiring next year anyway, in February. So I control the narrative right now. I don’t control it in February because [if] Brady gets hurt and we go 10-7, it’s an open interview for the job.”
When asked if any animosity with Brady led to him stepping down, Arians joked that he has friction "with every player I coached because I cussed them all out, including him.” He added that they have a "great relationship off the field."
The two-time Coach of the Year said he plans to remain involved as a senior consultant for Tampa Bay. Knowing that Brady is back for at least one more year, Arians called this the "perfect timing" to pass the torch to Bowles.