Lombardi: Careful With Bruce Arians

January 4th, 2019


Tread carefully, Bucs.

Bucs fans got jacked up when former Cardinals coach and one of the best quarterback coaches in the land, retired Bruce Arians, told Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network he would listen to a pitch by Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht about the head coach opening with the team.

Previously, Arians said he would only come out of retirement for the Browns.

Listening to Arians and reading his words, former NFL executive Michael Lombardi suggests the Bucs may want to tap the brakes before diving head-first into the Arians pool. Speaking on his Ringer.com podcast, Lombardi doesn’t like what he perceives as double-talk from Arians.

“You know, it is funny?” Lombardi began. “Bruce Arians first said he would only take the Cleveland job and now said he would listen to Tampa if they talk. I don’t know, does Bruce want to work or not? I’m not sure. I don’t know.

“I think Bruce is a good coach but does he really want to coach? When a guy retires, does he really want to coach? That is the question you have to ask yourself.”

Joe thinks Arians indeed wants to coach but he had health problems that sidelined him. That, and his wife has been nagging at him to retire to their Georgia lakefront home for years, even before he took the offensive coordinator job at Indianapolis in Andrew Luck’s rookie season.

In Joe’s eyes, it isn’t that Arians doesn’t want to coach, but who would be his successor? With his health problems and at 67 years old, you can’t realistically expect Arians to coach more than three years.

Now Joe would love if Arians was hired and the Bucs lured Los Angeles quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor away from the Rams as offensive coordinator and deemed him the coach-in-waiting when Arians steps aside for good.

66 Responses to “Lombardi: Careful With Bruce Arians”

  1. gotbbucs Says:

    Hiring Arians wont end well if it happens.

  2. Aceofaerospace Says:

    Gotta agree 100% on this one Joe. At 67, unless his known replacement is in house being groomed, we could be right back here in a couple years.

  3. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    As of the end of today, the Bucs will have met the requirements of the Rooney Rule, so a hire can happen any time from tomorrow on…but more likely from Monday on.

    As to Arians, I think it would be a bad hire…and the Bucs have not actually shown an interest in him yet. This is all media speculation and fans buying into it…and Arians talking out the side of his mouth.

    Joe brings up a good point about his health.

    Assume they hire him and he is successful in getting the Bucs into the playoffs within a couple years…right when things are turning around, he would have to retire again. And then the Bucs are bottom feeders again.

    Get serious, people.

  4. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I would rather have Josh Daniels if it comes to that.

  5. Warren Brown Says:

    I don’t want the Bucs to hire Arians. He stated when leaving the cards that he doesn’t enjoy the game anymore. Bucs need to lure Jim Harbaugh out of Michigan. Would be a better hire.

  6. Pete Mitchell Says:

    If they hire an offensive coach (regardless of whether it’s Arians or not), I sure hope they give him the chance to hang on to DJax…

    That dude is still a good football player. Yes he’s a diva and needs someone to manage him, but you can’t deny what he brings to an offense. And sorry Bucs fans but Godwin ain’t the answer (yet).

    Could you imagine if this team hangs onto DJax, lures in LeVeon Bell and drafts/signs a couple offensive lineman…

  7. AlteredEgo Says:

    The way I’m feeling it will NOT matter who the Bucs hire this go around….this franchise has not stop tumbling down the stairs and are merely at the last landing before the bottom….The ownership is inept ! The GBoyz are a square peg in a round hole…stop trying to be NFL owners and go back to being fans….at least sell 51% so you can keep the money machine puking obscene amounts of wealth. Go back into the shadows in which you live all except coach searching periods.

  8. JimBuc2 Says:

    Wasn’t it Arians who made a guest appearance in the broadcast booth of a Buc’s game this past season? I remember him commenting about M. Liedke “.. he’s having a great game, playing his tail off”, or words to that effect. Might he have been thinking of the future?

  9. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Although Arians was a great coach, I would agree with Lombardi – Arians did nothing after his retirement, meaning we did not hear a word from him as an announcer, sports commentator or as a small time coach of a local college or high school. He only mentioned once that he wanted to get back into coaching and only if it was Cleveland. Doesn’t feel like the guy has 100% of his heart committed to coaching again.

  10. Kobe Faker Says:

    “BAs in retirement. Its time to slow down and spending more time for his wife and family.

    Chest pains are a serious matter and BA going back to HC will be going against every doctor recommendation in this country

    BA is in the media business and am sure this is helping him being relavent in the news

    “I just want to have alittle fun with America’s Joke (Buccaneers)

    Geees, the Bucsheep is so gullible and now I know why pathetic Gump still has a job”


  11. FortMyersDave Says:

    DJax is a cancer, the MF fell asleep in meetings. He was probably one of the biggest cancers in the NFL this season and should have cost Licht his job…. DJax is a malcontent but it looks like the NFL is chock-full of them: 2 Jag RBs, and a WR and RB from Pitt for starters….. But what do Buc fan’s want? More of the cancers that destroyed an already fragile locker room??? Classic PM, classic….

  12. thunderchunklyPA Says:

    I know people are all in on an offensive coach to ” fix” Jameis. I think Kris Richard would do wonders for the defense. Imagine him with the young talent we have in the secondary alone. Unlike the previous staff, he DOES have a track record of developing and grooming talent.

  13. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I guess I take back my last posting. Arians did work as a game analyst for CBS this past season.

  14. Reedo Says:

    Jeff Telford

  15. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    LOL, Doctor Kobe has spoken. Dude why do you always talk about things you know NOTHING about! Reading your nonsensical posts always put me on life tilt!

  16. Jaykpatel Says:

    Regarding BA’s expressed interest in coaching the Browns, I believe that he only talked about open jobs at the time and not prospective jobs. Remember, that was the only HC opening at the time. (Thanks to the Ira Kaufman Podcast)

    Labeling a guy as a coach in waiting is dangerous because then who are the players playing for, their OC who may be the coach or the HC who’s probably not the coach and what about the DC? It’d be a soap opera waiting to happen.

  17. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    HC + DC & Defensive Staff

    Head Coach: Vic Fangio
    • Defensive Coordinator: Todd Bowles
    • Outside Linebackers Coach: Bill Davis
    • Inside Linebackers Coach: Mike Caldwell
    • Defensive Line Coach: Brenston Buckner
    • Assistant Defensive Line Coach: La’Roi Glover
    • Cornerbacks Coach: Dennard Wilson
    • Safeties Coach: Ed Donatell
    • Assistant Defensive Backs: Roy Anderson

    • Vic Fangio, Todd Bowles & Bill Davis have all been successful defensive coordinators in this league.

    Vic Fangio – Former / Current Staff Members
    • Outside Linebackers Coach: Bill Davis
    • Safeties Coach – Ed Donatell
    • Assistant Defensive Backs – Roy Anderson

    Todd Bowles – Former/Current Staff Members
    • Defensive Line Coach: Brenston Buckner
    • Assistant Defensive Line Coach: La’Roi Glover
    • Inside Linebackers Coach: Mike Caldwell
    • Cornerbacks Coach: Dennard Wilson

  18. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Vic Fangio has been this league for 33years.
    I’m sure he’ll have no problem pulling together a staff.

  19. VFL98 Says:

    Give me one Buc fan who got jacked up Joe??? besides you I don’t know anyone who was jacked up about Arians.

  20. D-Rome Says:

    I also think hiring Bruce Arians would be a bad decision. I think the Bucs should be aiming to find a long term solution at head coach, not a stop-gap. I could not care less about this quarterback whisperer nonsense. The next coach needs to have a short term and long term plan for success. That’s first and foremost. Whether or not that coach can fix Jay-Miss is not nearly as important.

  21. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    OC & Offensive Line Coach

    • Asst. Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator – Mike Mularkey

    Offensive Coaches
    • Quarterbacks – Jason Michael
    • Running Backs – Sylvester Croom
    • Wide Receivers – Bob Bratkowski
    • Sr. Offensive Assistant/TE Coach: Rob Chudzinski
    • Offensive Line – Russ Grimm

    Note: Minus Chudzinski – That’s Mularkey’s entire offensive staff from Tennessee.

  22. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Taking a look back (2014)

    #Warning Concerning Koetter (Rushing Attack)

    December 30th, 2014 at 2:34 pm ←

    Remember- Mike Mularkey was the previous Offensive Coordinator in Atlanta- So Dirk Koetter walked into a turn Key situation. Atlanta’s offense was already one of the best in the league. Outside of 2007, Dirk Koetter’s Jacksonville offensive ranked no better than the Mid-20s

    (Dirk Koetter)
    Offensive Philosophy-Air Coryell

    (3yrs in Atlanta)

    Passing Offense (Rankings)
    Attempts (3rd)
    Yards (5th)

    Rushing Offense (Rankings)
    Attempts (27th) ←
    Yards (24th) ←

    Note: Scored 381 points (23.8/g), 12th of 32 in the NFL


    Passing Offense (Rankings)
    Attempts (3rd)
    Yards (7th)

    Rushing Offense (Rankings)
    Attempts (32th) ←
    Yards (32th) ←

    Note: Scored 353 points (22.1/g), 20th of 32 in the NFL


    Passing Offense (Rankings)
    Attempts (8th)
    Yards (6th)

    Rushing Offense (Rankings)
    Attempts (26th) ←
    Yards (29th) ←

    Note: Scored 419 points (26.2/g), 7th of 32 in the NFL.

  23. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    In 14yrs as either a Head Coach or Offensive Coordinator – Mike Mularkey’s teams have finished in the Top 15; 9/14 – 65%.


    If the goal is to keep the ball out of Jameis hands – This is your guy.
    Also, remember Koetter admitted he was using Mularkey’s playbook.
    So the terminology is already here.

  24. Not there yet Says:

    I just don’t want us to hire someone who needs a coach in waiting to succeed him. Arians is old and we need someone young and someone who can provide stability while winning. We don’t need Arians as a bridge to another coach just go get the other coach now

  25. Kobe Faker Says:

    “I cant stand Kobe Faker so much, I went to Taco Bell to eat 7 burritos and headed toward a local Kobe Japanese restaurant to take a dump in front of their lawn”


  26. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    *In 14yrs as either a Head Coach or Offensive Coordinator – Mike Mularkey’s teams have finished in the Top-15 in Rushing; 9/14 – 65%.

  27. tnikkichristy Says:

    What if they bring in a defensive minded head coach to fix the defense and a hot shot young guy like Taylor to work with Jamie’s and the offense.

  28. Joe Says:

    What if they bring in a defensive minded head coach to fix the defense and a hot shot young guy like Taylor to work with Jamie’s and the offense.

    Joe would like that, if there was a way to keep Taylor for a few years. That’s unlikely to happen.

  29. Buc'd Up Says:

    I kinda felt like when he said ” he would only take the Cleveland job”, he meant it was the only job currently open. In the past I noticed coaches wont comment on jobs that aren’t available out of respect to sitting coach of that job.

  30. Defense Rules Says:

    Now I’m becoming very wary of this whole process Joe. Interesting article on Pewter Plank couple days ago (https://thepewterplank.com/2018/12/31/buccaneers-using-search-firm-to-help-find-next-head-coach started my waryness … clueless Ownership by Committee turns to Lapdog Licht & hires Korn-Ferry Consulting to HELP him. Said consulting firm has several successes in its’ track record, BUT … several significant misses too.

    Korn-Ferry’s spotty record tells me that IF the organization is already fairly strong (Seahawks, Chiefs, Falcons), their recommendation works out. If the organization isn’t strong to begin with (Jets, Cleveland), the results haven’t worked out nearly as well. Wow, whodathunkit.

    Hmmm, wonder which camp the Bucs fall into.

  31. 813bucboi Says:

    stay away from old man bruce….let him stay in his rocking chair or let some other team screw up……

    why hire him if you think he’s only going to last for 3 years?…..hiring him and his replacement would create a power struggle……the locker room would be split….half of the player would be listening to who’s coaching them now, and the other half would be listening to who will be coaching them in the future….what if bruce wants to play the vet but his replacement wants to play the youngster….

    offense aint the problem anyways its the defense…we need someone in here that will have an aggressive defense and knows how to develop defensive players…..


  32. LJS4th Says:

    Thank you Buc’d Up! He could not talk about the Bucs job as Dirk was still employed and the season was going on. Can’t talk about a job that is not available. I still think the Bucs will screw up the new Hire anyway! The GBoys screw everything up. I miss Mr. Glazer. RIP

  33. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Nearly all the National experts have Arians going to Cleveland, and one says he is using the Tampa job to get more money for himself. Of course, his old buddy Licht will go ahead with the deception.
    Arians wants a deep ball offense, and that requires an accurate, deep ball QB.
    Jameis is none of the above.
    Most national experts have Mike McCarthy coming here, and Jamis is better suited for a West Coast Offense.

  34. Stevbobucsfan Says:

    I’ve been saying this for almost 2 week now. If Arians is hired, he will bring in 2 top notch coordinators in which 1 will take over once he retire in 2 or 3 years. He is 67 and have minor health issues but he is the guy to right the ship in Tampa.

  35. miken Says:

    perfect hire because he will bring bowles and kitchens and a great staff

  36. Old Sombrero Kid Says:

    Let’s get some fresh new blood in here… I’m kind of tired of the same recycled coaches

  37. Stevbobucsfan Says:

    The problem in Tampa.is, they have been losing for 11 years. They need a guy like Arians who is a proven winner, good at developing QBs and wasn’t fired from his last job. A guy like John Harbaugh is great but they would damn near have to mortgage the team to get him because several teams are after him for 1 he’s under contract and do he want to come from Baltimore where he seems to have re-built another winning team to Tampa who seem to be in full disfunction. Love K Richard but is he the fix at this time. I just saw at least 3 of the top coordinators get fired after 2 or 3 years on monday

  38. 813bucboi Says:


    idk about Vic…..great defensive coach…brilliant defensive mind….33years in the league, interview over the years for HC opening but was never hired….seems like a better DC than HC candidate….

    with that said, i’d love him if he became our HC…..his defenses have always aggressive, productive and discipline….


  39. JWBUCS Says:

    Joe… What about the Bucs hiring Arians in the same capacity as Jacksonville hired Tom Coughlin?

  40. AlteredEgo Says:

    SMH……perpetually driving forward looking in the rearview mirror…..

  41. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    How I see what we need…

    • A coach who can get Jameis straightened out. This does not have to be an offensive coach if we hold onto Monken…or if we replace him with a good coordinator/QB Coach.

    • A coach who can put together a good defense. This does not have to be a defensive coach…but if it is an offensive coach, he had better have some sort of evidence that he can put together a team with a good defense. Prime examples of Offensive Coaches who fit this mold? Jim Harbaugh (49ers had a great defense when he coached them) and Mike McCarthy (Packers had a great defense when he coached them). None of the other offensive coaches can make this claim.

    • A coach who knows how to find talent at all levels….draft, free agency and trade. Brian Flores would seem to fit this role, but he is a gamble coaching-wise.

    • A coach that can maintain discipline without going overboard, and bring the best out of his players.

    • A coach who, if successful, can stay in place 5-10 years or more.

    • A coach with a proved winning head coaching record of at least 60%…if he has been a head coach…or has been a successful offensive or defensive coordinator if he has had very little or has not had head coaching experience.

    • If a coordinator, I like to look at the teams he’s been with. Have they all been successful teams? For example, Tony Dungy had a long list of good teams he had been a part of before he had been hired from the Vikings. George Edwards, who has been mentioned in connection to the Bucs, has been with teams like the Redskins, Browns, Dolphins, Bills, etc. So he is not a good choice.

    Going by those qualifications, a bunch of the guys mentioned by media fall short. Kris Richard, for example, hasn’t any head coaching experience, so we must look at his experience as a defensive coordinator…at which he failed miserably just last year. So I rule him out.

    Josh Daniels failed as a head coach, but his record as an offensive coordinator is extremely good. Yes, he has Tom Brady…but he has also developed backups that have gone one to be successful to a degree. Obviously, there is a gamble he is like Norv Turner…a great Offensive Coordinator, but a horrible head coach. But he could also be like Belichek, who failed at his first head coaching gig, and succeeded in his next one.

    Jim Harbaugh left the NFL with no losing record as a head coach. The worst he did was one 8-8 season. Every other year, he went to the conference championship and also went to a Superbowl. He would be the home run hire…but a pricey and unlikely one.

    Mike McCarthy was a successful coordinator, and he coached one of the classiest organizations in the league for 13 years, during which he had only 3 losing seasons…two of which happened when his starting QB was injured. He would bring instant respect to our team, and although he is an Offensive Coach, during his time with the Packers, he also built a good defense.

    So barring a Jim Harbaugh miracle hire, no matter how I look at it, Mike McCarthy is the best name being talked about.

    That isn’t to say that a new name can’t be a better option. We just have not heard it yet.

  42. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    I like the Vic Fangio suggestion. As a DC, he has a very good pedigree of teams he;s worked with. Much like Dungy did. In fact, I really like the rest of the staff you suggested.

    I don’t know if it’s realistic that we get them all though.

  43. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Most national media types have Jim Harbaugh going to Miami, IF he goes anywhere.
    Why ?
    Because Ross, the Miami Owner, is a HUGE Michigan benefactor, and will throw the table to get Jim Harbaugh.

  44. pepsi Says:

    I dont care if there would be a coach in the waiting or not. The point is we want Arians to help turn the team around. if he was success and makes the Bucs a 10+ win football team for 2-3 years in a row and then needed to retire because of health.. wed be able to land the best HC candidate out there.. would have way higher odds of luring a Jim Harbaugh at that point than we do now.

  45. Mikiebucsfan76 Says:

    Very good point pepsi. if we get this team respectable , in 2 or 3 years we wont have any problems landing a top notch HC

  46. macabee Says:

    Bruce Arians was 66 in October. Bill Belichick was 66 in April. Pete Carroll was 67 in September. What is common about these guys besides age is that they are all winners. Agree that Bucs should hire heir-apparent as Asst. coach. I’m solid in the Arians camp. We need an NFL experienced coach that has proven he can win. Arians is that guy!

  47. tickrdr Says:

    Note to Buccaneer Bonzai:
    Josh Daniels is a country singer.
    Josh McDaniels works for the Patriots.


  48. TOM Says:

    vfl98- You said name one fan who is jacked up to hire Arians. Well that would be me. If he got hred by Cleveland, the Bucs should definitely interview Gregg Williams. Done a hell of a job with the Browns. Please no to asshole Jim Harbough. That sob is insane. Besides look what OSU & Florida done to his team. He would want to much authority.

  49. Eric Says:

    Surely the Glazer’s would not hire him without a clean bill of health form a Dr.

    In today’s world cardiac issues are highly treatable and folks go back to work.

    He is the same age as Belichick and younger that Carroll.

  50. lokog Says:

    I wouldn’t trust much of what michael Lombardi has to say he tried to run the browns and failed to me that means he sucks “thanos nutsac of a chin”

  51. Eric Says:

    The Glazer’s are doing something we know nothing about presently.

    The present interview lineup is just hedging their bets.

  52. SOEbuc Says:

    WHAT IS ALL THIS DREAMING OF JIM HARBAUGH BS??? Guy is 1-10 against teams ranked ten or above and is 1-5 combined against Ohio State and MSU and has never beaten Ohio State. Now you people want him to come and coach for a NFC South division title??? Put down the hooch Jim fans.

  53. Doctor_berto Says:

    It doesn’t matter if Licht keeps passing on all-pro players in the draft!

  54. SOEbuc Says:

    Eric Bieniemy as HC. Fix oline. Sign Kareem Hunt. Find best DC there could be and pay him what he would like to come to Tampa.

  55. BucEmUp Says:

    Who gives a crap if he inly lasts three years? That three years of winning and competetice football and three years to find his replacement. What just because it will be short lived you dont do it at all? I see nothing bad coming from hiring Arains.

  56. SOEbuc Says:

    Joe if you get a question at the new HC press conference, could you try so slip in how ugly the jerseys are and everyone wants new ones.

    -“Are you aware of how ugly the jerseys are and did that have any effect on your decision when thinking about the Bucs?” – JBF

    -“I was aware and they threw in another $10 million to not think about them. That was the only way that I was willing to finally make a choice with TB”-John Doe HC

  57. SOEbuc Says:

    The Rooney Rule is so freaking disrespectful and racist. Rog and the NFL are such a$$holes. I’m sure a minority coach really appreciates when someone takes up his time for an interview, then be able to hear their application being tossed in the trash before he got out the door and someone saying “Okay. We got that over with.” Interview the best man for the job. NFL owners wouldn’t know anything about that though with Goodell as their top man.

  58. Frank Pillow Says:

    Our jerseys ARE ugly…

  59. destinjohnny Says:

    It’s all mute as any coach who has Jason as the gm will not succeed.
    I can see it now> Next year 6-10 the year after 7-9.
    At least my college team is on fire
    Roll Dam_ Tide

  60. 813bucboi Says:


    its cool bro…..most black coaches arent going to interview for a team if they feel like its just for the rooney rule….

    and now those same black coaches are sticking together and arent standing for the BS anymore…..

    perfect example is what happened a few days ago….i dont know if you heard this but the cardinals requested to interview eric bieniemy for their HC position and he turned them down….most(the media), including myself believe its a combination of them giving wilks the quick hook and to satisfy the rooney rule…..


  61. Darin Says:

    I’d take one year of Arians. Bring it on. Then hope he had a guy on staff who could keep it going. If not start over again. Need a real coach this time. Dirk was more inept than i thought and i didnt think that was possible.

  62. Michael Wright Says:

    I think Arians has the itch to come back. But remember, he retired because of serious health considerations. And I don’t think his wife wants him to come back either. You gotta think to yourselves fellow Buc fans, Its one thing to coach and play in an air conditioned dome and then come down here to Tampa in this heat..trng camp and game day. Arians not use to that with his health. The Buc Job is Arians for the taking But I got Arians wife steppin to him like a Boss and sayin..NOoooo!i

  63. Cb13 Says:

    Just hire Kris Richard will you !!!!

  64. SchwiftyBuc Says:

    Is Lombardi an actual retard? Arians clearly retired to get healthy. And he said he only wanted to coach the Browns because it was the only available job at the time.

    Jesus Christ I wish I could get paid as well as Lombardi does and not even try to be good at my job.

  65. Brandon Says:

    Coach’s code 101. You don’t talk about jobs that are not open. At the time Arians said that, only the Browns job was open.

  66. Tony LA Says:

    I’m sorry but so many of the commenters here are pathetic.
    That’s right… pathetic.

    “Arians wontvrnd well.”
    “We will be right back here in 3 years.”

    I imagine you apply those same thought patterns to your every day life and I feel truly sorry for you knowing that.
    Think for a second. The Bucs are already at rock bottom. They haven’t won a playoff game in 16 years or been to the playoffs in eleven. And the worry should be what happens in 3 years?
    That is fear talking. That is the hopefull want for certainty.
    There is no such thing.

    Arians has been coach of the year twice.
    He has won a chip as a coordinator.
    He has won everywhere he has beenX
    He was instrumental in the grooming and success of Big Ben and Luck and coached C. Palmer to his best seasons.

    He is easily the best coach the Bucs will have ever had outside of Dungu and Gruden.

    Worrying about what happens in 3 or 4 years is pathetic. I’ll take 3 years of Arians easily.