Arians moved from the sideline to the front office this past offseason, with the 70-year-old now serving as the Buccaneers’ senior advisor to general manager Jason
Licht. While Arians sounds appreciative of his current gig, he recently made it clear that he’d jump at the opportunity to return to coaching.
“Would I love to be coaching? Yeah,” Arians told Rick Stroud of TampaBay.com. “It’s what you do. It kills me to go upstairs. I’m on the sideline in pregame and it kills me to have to go upstairs and just sit there. It kills me. It’s hard. It’s what I do. I’ve done it my whole life. I’m smart enough to know it’s over.
“It’s not the same. That daily interaction with the players and the coaches, the relationship I’m in. I sat and talked to Mike (Evans) and Vita (Vea) for an hour. The new guys are told, ‘That’s the old coach. You don’t want him cussing you out.’ I just (cussed out) a couple of them for the hell of it.”
Arians’ tenure in Tampa Bay spanned three years, including a 31-18 record and the franchise’s second Super Bowl title. He seemed prepared for a fourth season at the helm but plans changed with the uncertainty surrounding Tom Brady‘s future. Working under the impression that his franchise QB was going to hang up his cleats, Arians weighed the possibility of an unproven QB room against his desire to see defensive coordinator Todd Bowles succeed him.
By ultimately stepping aside, Arians allowed the organization to retain both Bowles and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, with the now-former head coach continually asserting that he wanted to set up the Buccaneers organization with a solid succession plan. Still, despite Arians willingly giving up his gig, it sounds like he would have stuck around had he had more clarity on Tampa Bay’s outlook for the 2022-23 season.