July 18th, 2022

Head-scratching lingers.

It happened some four months ago and still seems strange.

That’s the way Joe feels about it and that’s the way Jordan Dajani of CBS Sports felt.

Just days after Tom Brady came out of retirement, Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians announced his retirement. Joe has heard all the reasoning and while everything said by Arians makes sense, it is weirder than weird in the grand scheme of things.

Of course, this stoked the fires of the conspiracy theorists who to this day believe Brady was on his way to Miami. Dajani typed up the strangest offseason move by each team and he is puzzled as to why and when Arians stepped down.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bruce Arians stepping down

… … … There were reports of friction with quarterback Tom Brady, but both parties denied there were any problems internally.

“Tom was very in favor of what I’m doing,” Arians said, via NBC Sports. “I mean, I had conflicts with every player I coached because I cussed them all out, including him. Great relationship off the field.”

Brady is virtually a head coach on the offensive side of the ball, but I’m curious as to how Arians’ departure will affect the team as a whole moving forward. Maybe it’s something that doesn’t affect the team’s ceiling at all in 2022, but it was certainly an offseason surprise that led to some questions.

It is almost like Arians wanted to be a martyr of some sort to prop up Todd Bowles.

Regular readers know Joe thinks the world of Arians. He’s the best coach the Bucs have ever had. Straight up. But he was only going to be around one more year, two at the max.

So with Arians sort of on borrowed time, what would you rather have? Arians as Bucs coach for one more year with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback or Bowles and Brady for maybe one year, if Arians’ status was even a consideration for Brady?

50 Responses to “Questionable”

  1. Dooley Says:

    Well I prefer Bowles and Brady being what BA left us with, but I also think BA the 69 year old human being who just survived the newest viral villain known to man had something to do with his decision to retire. Bradys’ return was likely just an accelerant to a conclusion BA and his family probably talked about before, during and after BA himself came out of retirement to coach a franchise that only had 2 winning records the decade leading up to him taking the job.

  2. Wild Bill Says:

    It was time for a change. The old coach was showing significant signs of decline. And his afinity for Gabbert delayed development of an eventual replacement for Brady. As things stand now, a major injury to Brady likely means doom for the rest of the season. It was time for younger blood. Time stands still for nobody. Thanks to Arians for the changes he made to the Bucs culture. And thanks for a smooth transition for younger energetic leadership.

  3. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I’d be okay with Leeman Bennett and Brady.

  4. ModHairKen Says:

    This is like getting together with high school friends and all they want to talk about is high school. Who cares why he left. He left. It is over. Bowles is more than capable. He is actually a steal. Let’s focus on that. Greatest QB ever is still calling signals. Every aspect of the team has been upgraded, except TE. What other team can say that?


  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We’ll never know….so the endless speculation continues…..only matched by Gronk-a-day & perhaps “will he or won’t he play in 23”

  6. Buc4evr Says:

    OMG, seriously , training camp can’t start soon enough.

  7. Goatfarmer Says:

    Not everything needs to be a conspiracy.

    But I wish BA were still head coach.

  8. DBS Says:

    Gronk and JPP. Bowles a Steal? He had a great record with the Jets. Good luck. Keep your hands off the offense.

  9. DBS Says:

    Cooper Kupp!!

  10. Says:

    Yo Joe, you did catch that weeks ago Florio reported he was told by a source, on the very day Brady unretired, that the next thing that would happen within the Bucs is Arians stepping down? That’s pretty open and shut in my book.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Aahh yes, the story that won’t die. Brady was NEVER gonna play for the Dolphins or anyone else. The Bucs held the rights to his 2022 season & weren’t about to just give them away. It would’ve taken a king’s ransom to pry him loose from the Bucs.

    Did BA know what was going on while the Bucs were negotiating with TB12 to un-retire? Duh, of course, he was the HC. It’s unfathomable that Brady would make BA’s stepping down a pre-condition of his returning. What would make Brady think that working with Bowles would be any easier (and more productive) than working with BA? Too many unknowns in there.

    Why can’t folks just give Bruce credit for doing a very noble thing? He’s been tremendously loyal to his assistant coaches & to his players his whole career. This was his chance to give Todd Bowles at least a fighting chance at a winning season & the playoffs. Turning over the reins next year, with no Brady & lots of personnel changes on the horizon, wouldn’t have been doing Todd any favors. Personally I applaud him for his actions & I’m glad that he’s still available to help this team succeed.

  12. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Who knows what we are getting in Bowles. Maybe Bowles will end up a super head coach. Belicheat failed miserably in Cleveland and look at him now. I am optimistic he will have great success… at least for one more year. You are only as good of a coach as your best player TB

  13. Peskajumba Says:

    Todd Bowles is not a steal. We had a great run defense for a bit with him, but even that started to change last year. It’s mostly athletic ability that makes the difference on this team.

  14. glen k mattingly Says:

    Haven’t you about beat this dead horse to death? Come on man, we want something else.

  15. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    At the Sports Bar I frequent, many believe that Arians was forced out by Brady.
    I am on the fence on this issue, but it does seem very weird that when Brady decided to come back, Arians left.

  16. Listnfrmafar Says:

    [That’s way over the line. — Joe]

  17. Bobby M. Says:

    Won’t shock me if he does come back once Brady is done.

  18. Allbuccedup Says:

    DoooshlaRue I believe Leeman Bennett would have been successful with Brady as qb.

  19. Crickett Baker Says:

    Excellent post, Defenserules, and I agree with all of it.

  20. Allbuccedup Says:

    I still believe Dungy was the best head coach he changed the culture as well as the character of this team. Arians is a close second followed by Mckay and the other guy that won the superbowl. This team wasn’t very good when Arians came but was atrocious when Dungy came.

  21. sasquatch Says:

    Another slow news day. When’s another Gronk article coming?

  22. GOB Says:

    Defense, when I think of noble people and actions, BA doesn’t come to mind. I’m not sure what happened, but the idea that BA was setting up bowles is simply unbelievable. Bowles interviewed for at least one other HC job. If BA were trying to insure that bowles would get the bucs job, then why let him interview? BA simply having a change of heart, after sounding so excited to coach Kyle Trask, doesn’t pass the smell test. The timing of Brady’s return, and BAs subsequent retirement is another clue. Of course the bucs have plausible deniability, but it’s strange.

    I’m of the mind that BA certainly intended to coach this year. He told the media so, and even said he was looking forward to calling plays again. Here’s Something else that doesn’t add up. If BA was indeed one of the major reasons Brady came to Tampa, and they had this fantastic relationship, why didn’t Brady throw a fit and demand BA stay on for one more year? Such a scenario was never mentioned by BA. Believe me, if it were the case, BA would’ve told everyone.

    The Miami stuff is ancillary, but Brady did meet with the Miami owner. Maybe it was about playing, and or partial ownership. You are 100% right on one point. The bucs were not letting Brady go for a first and a third. I think bucs ownership told him as much. You’re playing in Tampa this year, or staying retired, because no team is emptying their draft board for a guy playing two more years at most. I believe Brady countered with, get rid of BA and I’ll play. To me it’s the most plausible explanation.

  23. stpetebucsfan Says:

    @D.R. “Why can’t folks just give Bruce credit for doing a very noble thing?”

    Amen! Perhaps it’s projection and we’re both “old school”. Guys who believed in doing the stand up things. While GOB and others do not believe so much in doing the “right thing” so it’s harder for them to accept.

    I’m not going to be the old guy chiding the young crowd for being so NEGATIVE.

    We had as the man once said…”Nattering Nabobs of Negativity” as well. It’s just hard to not differentiate from people who ASSUME that the negative is “the only plausible explantion”. If feel very sorry for anybody stuck with that kind of outlook on life.

    Listen I get it. I’m a skeptic…but I’m not a cynic!!! There is a difference.

    “A skeptic is a doubter. A cynic is a disbeliever.” The next step after “cynicism” is becoming “jaded.” Where “cynics” might be sneering and actively doubting something, people who are “jaded” are just so exhausted that they have become apathetic.

  24. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    Sorry folks but I think next to BA Chucky was the best HC the Bucs ever had.

  25. Smashsquatch Says:

    I thought BA was on life support since he always had that pace maker strapped to his chest on game day, no? How weird looking was that contraption? All those wires and batteries just for coms? His iconic look went from the kangol hat to a silver alert poster! Good for BA though, his grand gesture was a classy move.

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    GOB … ‘I believe Brady countered with, get rid of BA and I’ll play. To me it’s the most plausible explanation.’

    Since none of those with first-hand knowledge are talking, we’ll most likely never know what really happened. Your rendition is as plausible as mine. I just choose to believe mine. (Can’t wait for this season to start).

  27. GOB Says:

    stpete, if you believe the company line on this one, not only are you not a skeptic, but a cockeyed optimist. Take your off your pewter colored glasses for a moment, and look at the situation objectively. I don’t know BA, never even met the man, but does his personality come off to you as noble? The more likely scenario is that the bucs are paying him to keep his mouth shut. Arians has zero front office experience. Yet he’s some kind of special assistant to the GM? Call me a cynic, but do you honestly think his role is anything but ceremonial?
    I believe Occam’s razor in most things, except when people and personalities are involved. Then, cynicism guides most of my opinions.

  28. sasquatch Says:

    Why continue with this nonsense?

  29. GOB Says:

    Defense, I’ll agree with that. Nobody really knows what went down. We’re just postulating here. I’ve said this before. I think Brady and BA get along fine. I also believe Brady became increasingly annoyed with BAs coaching style. Some of these things are axioms, we all should be able to agree on. Like I said, the Miami stuff doesn’t interest me. Let’s say for a minute, that I believe your scenario. Why didn’t Brady fight for his coach? To me the reason is simple.

  30. Allbuccedup Says:

    GOB I concur BA doesn’t act or look like a member of the Nobility class.

  31. GOB Says:

    sasquatch, I don’t start these threads. Blame Joe, not the people responding to the story.

  32. SPARKY Says:

    The ex Patriots conspiracy theories guys. GOB List, and others take the stories these so called writers throw out there hoping some idiots will buy it. They still think Belichek tried to keep Jimmy G over Brady. Even after Edelman has came out and said Jimmy G had lost the respect of the players because he wouldn’t play with a injury. Even after the 49ers said while they were in talks about Jimmy G, they asked Belichek if he was interested in trading Brady instead, Bill laughed at them. But these guys believe what Wikersham who got his story from a “Reliable source “. Of course they are going to believe anybody but Brady and BA on this story.

  33. Dooley Says:

    Mel Gibson level conspiracy theories lol

  34. Ash Says:

    Defense rules painted picture seems more plausible than anything else I’ve seen.

  35. SB~LV Says:

    Yawn 🥱

  36. CleanHouse Says:

    I’m going to just say it. I think Bowles sucked as a head coach and I’m not real optimistic. I think Gronk, Suh, JPP, Marpet, Cappa, Whitehead and AB losses are a big deal. Now Fournette supposedly is fat and out of shape. Who knows how Godwin will come back and when it will be?

    At least we have a bunch of arrogant rookies.

    Maybe we will fight for a wild card.

    Maybe it’s Bucs PTSD but I feel Lost decade 2.0 coming soon!

  37. Allbuccedup Says:

    Lets talk about todays team what about Kyle Rudolph is he coming or we going after someone else.

  38. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Seriously Joe, no profanity, no politics? What’s so over the line? Since when do you mute a followers opinion? Go Brandon!

  39. Goatfarmer Says:

    DR – thank you.

    The Patriots fan can stick his head in a porcelain bowl and press “flush.”

  40. Rod Munch Says:

    I’m still convinced that Brady retired, in large part, because Arians hissy fit during the Jets game when he fires AB. Arians should have treated the situation like a mature coach, when AB said he was hurt, he should have left it alone instead of going nuts and telling AB if he couldn’t get back in the game he was cut, off the team. That IS the order of events for those who say AB quit, it’s just not real.

    I’m not anti-Arians, and I think AB is a nutjob, but you don’t fire Brady’s top target in the middle of a game because they say they’re hurt, it’s just dumb. That move almost certainly cost the Bucs another SB win. If they get past the Rams, they win the SB — and if AB is in the game, Brady isn’t having to throw the ball over and over again to Brate as his 2nd receiving option.

    I believe that is why Brady was so eager to quickly retire, he was mad at Arians for being a moron. When the Bucs started sniffing around Brady again, there’s no way they didn’t tell him Arians was retiring, and I’m not saying Brady wouldn’t have come back anyways, but I’m guessing Brady wasn’t all that bothered by the idea that Arians wouldn’t be on the sidelines.

  41. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Rod, if you were anti Arians, Joe wouldn’t let you post. GO (Joe) Brandon

  42. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I’m glad you’re not taking any of this personally. And of course as D.R. points out you COULD be correct. But you could also be WRONG. So in the absence of proof I guess I wonder why you would choose the negative.

    “does his personality come off to you as noble?

    I of course do not know BA…never worked for or with him in any capacity. So MY opinion as to how he comes off is not really important and besides it’s based totally on reports from other people in better positions to know.

    Jenna Laine… Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians, who continues to receive praise for giving minority coaches opportunities, said Monday that it was his personal experience being overlooked that made him want to help others get recognized.

    The Buccaneers are the only team in the NFL with all Black coordinators.
    The Bucs are also the first NFL team to have two female coaches on staff in a Super Bowl.

    From other sources including BA himself…Arians is known to socialize with players more than most NFL coaches. After Cardinals home games he was known to pull his car up. The trunk would be open and he would be handing out drinks to his players. He writes “If a player had a bad game, I’m going to give him a beer and big sincere hug. If a player had a great game, I’m going to give him a beer and a big sincere hug.”

    So I simply go by what I see and read. And then I calculate. While I think BA did a tremendously noble thing it’s not like he gave up much. He already had a SB…earned with a horrid franchise…yeah TB gets credit but who unleashed TB’s wasn’t conservative Belichek who helped Brady with great defenses and BORING offenses. BA turned this culture around and Brady was just an important cog, as were some incredible existing Bucs! ME13 and CG14 perhaps the most unselfish duo in the league at WR. LVD totally underated and committed to the team and a winning culture.

    I guess my point is as D.R. says we may NEVER get irrefutable proof. I’m just so tired of seeing our society disintegrate in front of my eyes that I’m happy to see a “feel good” story. I concede that makes me prejudiced to one side of the story.

  43. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Ya stpete, Brady was just a cog. Why didn’t the culture change or franchise turn in a positive direction in 2019? Oh, I forgot it was the cog Winsten’s fault. Obviously you have never watched a Patriots game because if you did the word boring doesn’t come to mind when one thinks of the offense. A boring offense is one that runs up the middle on 1st down and chucks it up just to chuck it up, that’s called flag football. I applaud BA for his openness to diversity provided the individual is the most or equally qualified person for the position.

  44. GOB Says:

    Listnfrmafar, it’s funny isn’t it. The same people who cheered the laundry change, were the same people that called Brady a cheater. Joe isn’t excluded. He tries to differentiate, by calling Bill, Belicheat. Isn’t the QB who benefitted from all that cheating suspect too? Unless of course, you truly believe he wouldn’t have won all those rings without some kind of unfair advantage. 2014 should’ve put that to bed.

    stpete, go look at the 07 Patriots. Bill wasn’t afraid to throw the ball. After the crying colts GM got his way, Bill was more than happy to chuck it all over the yard. You could no longer jam a reciever at the LOS. Bill the GM just couldn’t draft recievers, hence the lack of explosiveness in the passing game. They still won three titles throwing the ball sideways.

    stpete, I capitulate on BAs nobility, so far as your examples go. it still doesn’t explain his departure, and the fact that he allowed Bowles to interview for other HC jobs.

  45. Eddie Marz Says:

    For all the fans who say “we’ll never know”, why don’t you just believe what Brady and Ariens said. Stop the dramatics and accept what they both have said. LMAO. GOBUCS!

  46. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Eddie, because Brady admitted 90% of what he tells the media is false and we already know BA has no problem fabricating. How many stories did he have for the AB and Adam’s debacles?

  47. sasquatch Says:

    Listnfrmafar Says:
    July 18th, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    How many stories did he have for the AB and Adam’s debacles?

    1 each.

    Also, not debacles unless you had a pre-existing grudge against Arians.

  48. Buccos Says:

    Why would Brady want to play for a defensive head coach when he could have one of the best offensive minds in history, also known as the “qb whisperer”. Brady must have loved that situation after playing for the defensive minded Belicheck for all those years.

  49. westernbuc Says:

    People overthink this. He always wanted to set up his guys, he’s said that since he got here. He even said if he won a super bowl he’d retire again. Brady for year 2 was too good to pass up. He retired from the cardinals because his wife thought he was going to die. If Brady were calling shots on head coaches, why didn’t he force Belichick out?

  50. Brazen Zebra Says:

    Bottom Line: Ownership agreed with Brady’s opinion that BA mismanaged AB. Did BA also mismanage Jameis Winston? 30 INTs? That’s no risk it, no biscuit BS. Jameis Winston has shown he’s a good QB when under a good coach. BA was gently pushed out the door. Time to retire.