TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have officially introduced Bruce Arians as their new coach.
- Buccaneers introduce Bruce Arians as new head coach
- Arians, 66, brings a 49-30-1 regular season record to the new job
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The team made the announcement during a Thursday afternoon news conference.
Co-Chairman and owner Bryan Glazer said, "Today we embark on an exciting new chapter in our team’s history and we join our fans in welcoming Bruce Arians and his wife Chris to the Tampa Bay community and the Buccaneer family.
"Over the course of a distinguished 25-year NFL coaching career, Bruce has accumulated a long list of career achievements and his work with some of the game’s greats and most accomplished players is well-documented. It also became very clear that he has a fire and passion for this game that burns very deep inside him."
Arians, 66, will become the franchise's sixth head coach since Jon Gruden was fired in 2008. Arians is the 12th coach in team history.
The longtime coach spent one year away from the sideline, working with CBS, and noted that he missed the feeling of being inside the locker room, missed the thrill of the game, and was excited by the fact that he felt like he could build a perfect coaching staff.
One of the most important elements of Arians' job will be to help realize former number one overall pick Jameis Winston realize his potential. It's been an up-and-down four-year career for Winston as the Bucs starting quarterback, both on and off the field.
"I want him to relax and play the game. Talent is no issue. It’s just becoming a little bit smarter... He’s going to be coached as well as he’s ever been and more prepared than he’s ever been fundamentally and mentally. It’s his team and I’ll tell our players in the first meeting, this isn’t my team, it’s your team. We’ll be as good as you want to be," Arians said.
General Manager Jason Licht listed the reasons that Arians appealed to the Bucs franchise. "We wanted somebody with a proven track record, not just as a coach, but also developing players, developing coaches – Bruce checks that.
"We wanted somebody that was going to bring swagger and those late ‘90s teams here in Tampa – early 2000s Super Bowl – that team was full of swag. Bruce check that.
"Last but not least, just that ‘It’ factor that you really can’t explain, but once again anybody that’s around Bruce know that Bruce has ‘It.’ I’ve never been around a guy that has such magnetism about him that players and coaches just instantly want to follow him when he comes," Licht said.
The Buccaneers, coming off back-to-back 5-11 seasons, fired Dirk Koetter Dec. 30.
The team has not qualified for the playoffs since 2007 and has not won a playoff game since Super Bowl XXXVII, which was Jan. 26, 2003.
Arians is working on assembling a staff to help him transform a roster featuring some good young talent into consistent winners.
Arians led the Arizona Cardinals to a 49-30-1 regular-season record from 2013-2017, a five-year stretch that included three 10-win seasons, two playoff berths, one division title and an appearance in the NFC championship game in the 2015 season.
In addition to Bowles, who was fired by the Jets last month, potential staff Arians is interested in bringing to Tampa Bay include one-time Arizona assistant Harold Goodwin as run game coordinator and former Bucs quarterback Byron Leftwich as offensive coordinator.
Bowles, whose hiring was announced Wednesday night, takes over a defense that ranked 27th in total defense and 31st in points allowed in 2018.
The connection to Arians' days in Arizona doesn’t end with potential staff additions. Former Cardinals defensive line coach Brentson Buckner is already under contract with the Bucs after joining them in the same position before last season.
And, Bucs general manager Jason Licht, who led the coaching search, was vice president of player personnel for two seasons in Arizona before moving to Tampa Bay in 2014.