Nailing Every Goal

April 1st, 2022

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Only Bruce Arians would even try to pull this off.

Who else could stand in front of a podium at One Buc Place and make a compelling case for walking away from a team now favored to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl?

Skeptics remain, dangling the Tom Brady as instigator theory, but you don’t have to be naive to trust the collective narrative advanced by Arians, Joel Glazer and Jason Licht.

General manager Jason Licht talks to Ira.

Here’s why: Arians is a one-off. There’s nobody like him in terms of fostering inclusion and promoting diversity. So when he talks about a succession plan involving his assistant coaches, Arians has a lifetime of action to reinforce his words.

“He’s such a selfless person,” Licht told me after Thursday’s news conference. “I can’t think of anybody else that would do this. The torch has been passed to a team that’s in phenomenal shape in terms of having the quarterback and the roster. It’s usually in ruins when that happens.”

The 2022 Bucs are hardly in ruins because Arians was the overseer of a franchise resurrection.

“When Bruce came here, there was never a 10-year plan,” Glazer said. “He was going to do this for a few years. He said, ‘I’m going to clean this place up, I’m going to change the culture, I’m going to get you winning here and we’ll take it year-by-year.’ This is a little surprising, but not totally surprising when I think back at some of the things he said coming in here.”

Arians isn’t the first coach to walk away at or near the top, but he’s in rare company.

Bill Walsh retired in 1989 after winning a third Super Bowl with the 49ers. John Wooden hung up his whistle in 1975 after UCLA won the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in nine years. In 2002, Scotty Bowman said goodbye after his ninth Stanley Cup as a head coach.

Perhaps the most appropriate comparison would be Red Auerbach. In 1966, after coaching the Celtics to an eighth consecutive NBA title, Auerbach turned the job over to Bill Russell, who served as Boston’s player-coach for three seasons before his retirement.

Like Arians, Auerbach was known as a powerful advocate for racial diversity. As the first black head coach in NBA history, Russell won championships in 1968 and 1969, capping off the greatest dynasty in the history of modern-era professional sports.

Speed Demon

Despite his long history of inclusion, Arians can’t quite elude naysayers who finger Brady as the triggerman in this scenario. Speculation about a Brady-Arians rift continues to flourish and at this point, only one person can put those rumors to rest.

It was notable that Brady attended Thursday’s conference, sitting in the front row on the aisle.

Key phrase? On the aisle.

Team Glazer talks to Ira.

Brady didn’t join Arians, Glazer, Licht or Todd Bowles on the stage — and that’s understandable. But when I made my way toward him at the conclusion of the event, Brady flashed 4.4 speed, bolting out the door like he was trying to evade Aaron Donald.

Brady enjoys playing mind games, but he lost this one. If there are no substantive issues between him and his now former head coach, Brady owes it to Arians to clear the air.

It’s not a good look when the unquestioned face of the franchise turns his cheek and runs for cover.

“We live in a tweet, Instagram, social media world,” Glazer said, “and there’s stuff flying around every single day. Nothing surprises me. People are going to say what they’re going to say, but here’s what I know: everyone has a good relationship and everyone’s working toward one common goal.”

When news first broke that Arians was stepping down in favor of Bowles, I texted him.

“Keep thinking you’re one Super Bowl away from Canton, with me making your case in front of the selectors,” I wrote.

The response from Arians was swift and pointed. “You’re gonna have to work harder,” he wrote. “This is more important to me personally.”

Hard to believe, but then again, Arians is a true believer.

“Who else is built like Bruce?” Licht said. “Nobody. His coaching record speaks for itself, but what he does off the field for inclusion, for racial equality, for gender equality, the pioneer that he is … that will live on forever.”

Yes, that warranty includes USED vehicles!
Ira drives a 2020 Ford Escape (cherry red).

21 Responses to “Nailing Every Goal”

  1. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Arians should get into HOF for setting the example of how a coaching change should be done.

  2. Bird Says:


    And you felt brady owed you an explanation…almost an apology for antonio brown the week of playoffs last year. Like it was bradys fault for AB meltdown. He tried to help AB (who didnt get another chance from anyone else and probably didnt deserve one ) and that wasnt good enough for you. Brady doesnt owe you jack. And no wonder he bolted out of room as you and others were on the prowl to cause some drama during a celebration of bowles being handed the keys to the city. Sucks you didnt see captain obvious there

    Brady is back for a third year. And 99.2 % of people are stoked about that

    Sucks you have a problem with him and “his antics”

  3. Lamarcus Says:

    Can we really take what Licht says? Licht on camera said JW was the greatest leader he’s ever seen in his life

  4. ChiBuc Says:

    As a coach last year, I’m on record with how I feel he has been mailing it in… not really developing players, playing silly “dog house” games, dogmatic game planning/adjustments, lack of discipline, etc… bear in mind, I am referring to coaching.

    As a leader and as a man, I have the utmost respect for his conviction and vision. I really believe he is perfect for his new role and his legacy will be measured by the future success of the buccaneers, as well as his contributions toward diversity among NFL coaches. His body of work shouldn’t require Ira to advocate much more than the truth for a spot in Canton.

  5. bogiedr Says:

    I said it before, what if he is sick again?? Just saying, not impossible!

  6. TDTB2022 Says:

    Ira, once again, you bring it! Thanks

    By the way, I would love to buy your book on Arians and the glory years as a Buccaneers coach.

  7. ModHairKen Says:

    “You’re gonna have to work harder. This is more important to me personally.”

    HOF is not exclusively for head coaches. With BA’s entire body of work, if he cannot get it, then it’s proof the HOF rewards the wrong things.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    TBBF will miss Bruce Arians’ style…..his entertaining manner & frank answers to questions….his pressers are interesting.

    Bowles & BL are good coaches but they can’t hold a candle to Bruce Arians’ public persona.

    As for the rift…..actually until someone who knows says it is true….it isn’t.

  9. TheBradyBunch Says:

    If there was a problem it may have been that BA wasn’t about football 24/7. As a man I have no doubt Brady loved him. BA oozes charisma and is beloved by players. His laid back approach to the game at this stage in his life may gave bothered the GOAT a bit because he is all in 100% all the time.

  10. Bird Says:

    Watched darlington comments on brady and dolphins

    Now he lives down there in south florida. . Could he play there next year ? Maybe. Doubt it though.

    But i think he knows he has it better here. Especially in nfc with some of those dominant teams. Man the bills are going to be really tough to beat

    But i think the dolphins discussions are more ownership related. Minority stake for now that gets to put his name on franchise. Makes sense. Trust me. This team is all in for him and he knows it and appreciates it. Plus him and left twitch get to control the offense now.

  11. Buczilla Says:

    There are lesser coaches than Arians already in the hof and he deserves to go in for what he has done both on and off the field.

  12. gp Says:

    The ” Story” here is about Bruce Ariens’ legacy and the fact that he handed his hand picked successor the reigns of a championship caliber team.
    For once, the story ISN’T about Tom Brady.
    Tom Brady knows that…….

  13. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    As pointed out elsewhere by others there is a lot of negativity and skepticism in our society today. People don’t have the discipline to slow down and think a bit more. Arians lives by “What you see is what you get.”. It has been refreshing!

    Onward and upward with Todd Bowles.

  14. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I sometimes wonder about the Health of Bruce Arians, so maybe that is the reason he is up for the HOF so quickly ?
    He left us in good shape, and went out on top, on his terms.

  15. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    You may not have heard the last from BA as a head coach…………….

  16. Steven007 Says:

    Dungy is in the HOF. With one championship. Certainly a good coach and changed the culture here for a while. Arians on the other hand has won two coach of the year awards. Once as an interim coach. Not sure that’s ever been done before. Then with AZ. Then he comes here and wins a championship and changes the culture again. Yes with help certainly. I think he’s clearly got a better resume than Dungy. And that’s just one example.

  17. Venom Gland Says:

    He deserves to be in the HOF PERIOD!

  18. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    IN 2020 Arians should’ve been COY and Brady MVP. 2021 Brady MVP and Licht EOY. Now Bowles has a chance as the heir apparent from the time Arians came on board. He improves the defense this year great chance we make it all the way.

  19. Buddha Says:

    Let’s not forget that Brady runs Arian’s offense. BA crafted and developed this down field passing offense over many years. It is complex and difficult to master. Brady said so himself. Brady is the GOAT, but BA is the coach that knew how to utilize his unusual talent.

  20. Bird Says:


    1)The cool joe. You know the one lighting it up this week
    2)The other joe
    3)the intern last year
    4)the car guy on here

  21. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Haters will always hate. BA is a great coach. Obviously he isn’t perfect but the dude took us out of the basement. Not long ago we were the fire hydrant of the nfl for other teams to piss on. Now look at us. One year removed from SB champs. Made the playoffs again won a home playoff game and has us favored to win it all again this year. Pure amazement when you have a coach n the right front office people pulling the stings and of course having the goat is huge. BA deserves to be in the HOF no doubt he has the resume but I think what makes BA the best is that look how diverse the coaching staff is and how he promotes them just shows he’s an amazing human looking out for all human life.