Outgoing Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is downplaying speculation that Tom Brady’s recent return to football led to his own decision to retire and move into a front-office position this week.
‘We have a great relationship,’ Arians told reporters at Thursday’s press conference for new head coach Todd Bowles, which was attended by Brady.
‘I mean, all of the players — there are a few of them here — every one of them’s gotten cussed out [by me], including him,’ Arians said, gesturing to the grinning Brady. ‘So that’s just part of me, you know? That’s nothing new, but we have a great relationship.’
Rumors about Arians and Brady’s deteriorating rapport have circulated throughout sports media since the latter ended his 40-day retirement to return to the Bucs on March 13.
Rich Ohrnberger, a former NFL offensive lineman who was a teammate of Brady’s in New England from 2009 until 2011, has claimed that the quarterback’s relationship with his head coach ‘was souring,’ adding that ‘there was a feeling of resentment inside the building toward Arians.’
But on Thursday, Arians dismissed reports of friction with Brady, saying it ‘couldn’t be further from the truth.’
Outgoing Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is downplaying speculation that Tom Brady’s recent return to football led to his own decision to retire and move into a front-office position this week
Motioning to Brady (pictured), Arians said: ‘I mean, all of the players — there are a few of them here — every one of them’s gotten cussed out [by me], including him’
Arians, who turns 70 this year, said his decision to step down as coach was about ‘succession’ and making sure he turned the team over to Bowles (pictured) with an opportunity to succeed. When Brady unretired on March 13, Arians realized the time was right
Arians, who turns 70 this year, said his decision to step down as coach was about ‘succession’ and making sure he turned the team over to Bowles with an opportunity to succeed. When Brady unretired on March 13, Arians realized the time was right.
‘Succession is way important to me,’ Arians said. ‘This has been my dream for a long time. Guys that know me, they knew I wanted one of my guys to take over.’
Bowles and Arians have a relationship that dates more than 40 years. Bowles played safety for Arians at Temple in the 1980s and was defensive coordinator on Arians´ staff in Arizona before joining him in Tampa.
‘He is the most influential coaching figure and father figure that I have ever had in this league,’ Bowles said, adding that it was a bittersweet feeling when he got the news from Arians.
In a way, Brady’s return may have prompted Arians to retire from coaching, but not because of any animosity he has towards the seven-time Super Bowl winner.
As Fox Sports reported Wednesday, Arians had known he’d be retiring for some time, but only had the confidence to step away, knowing the team would be in good shape, once Brady unretired.
‘Bruce Arians told me once he knew Brady was coming back he starting thinking he could step away and leave Todd Bowles in great position,’ reported Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, who is not related to the Glazer family that owns the Bucs and Manchester United. ‘Said there was a rule they needed clarified, which they got this week at Owners Mtg, which led to timing.’
Arians, a two-time cancer survivor, has explained that his decision is unrelated to any health concerns.
The relationship between Arians and Brady remains a bit of a mystery, although Brady did shower Arians with praise on Instagram following his announcement: ‘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. Smart, tough, and loyal are a few of the words to describe your style.’
Brady, in an Instagram post Wednesday night, said Arians was a major part of his decision to play for Tampa Bay and that he’ll be ‘forever grateful’