Anger, Health Played A Part In Bruce Arians’ Retirement

February 14th, 2024

Bucco Bruce Arians

So about 22 1/2 months after Bucco Bruce Arians stunned the NFL world and stepped aside from his job as Tampa Bay head coach, perhaps it’s time to set the record straight on why he did it.

Of course, Arians has given his reasoning several times, including in his exclusive retirement announcement interview with Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times and Peter King of NBC Sports. But it feels like a lot of fans aren’t sure or don’t believe him.

And now it sounds like Arians is sending an adjusted message.

Rock Riley, host of the Bucs Kickoff gameday podcast at, also has his own podcast for several years, The Rock Stops Here. Riley had Arians as a guest this week and asked Arians to “set us straight” on his real mindset when he retired from coaching in late March of 2022.

“For me, it was time; health had a little bit to do with it,” Arians said.

“I tore my Achilles, you know, that year before. Standing on the sidelines was getting harder with some issues just being out there for four hours standing. I just thought it was time, and I didn’t like Todd [Bowles] and Byron [Leftwich] getting passed over that year. You know, I thought they both deserved to be head coaches. You know, so a lot of things went into that decision. When we did it, it was just I think perfect timing for all of us.”

Arians’ answers add to the mystery of his surprise retirement four weeks prior to the 2022 NFL Draft. He told Riley health was part of the decision, but in his public statement on March 30, 2022, hours after stepping down, Arians wrote the following: “Before you start thinking this is about my health, don’t. This is the best I have felt in many years …”

Arians also sounded this week like he is still angry that Bowles and Leftwich weren’t hired as head coaches following the 2021 season.

Ironically, Arians’ comments to Farmer and King painted a picture of the 2022 Bucs failing if they had a 10-7 season.

“[I don’t need to] win another 15 games for me to be happy,” Arians said. “I’d rather see Todd in position to be successful and not have to take some [bad] job. I’m probably retiring next year anyway, in February [2023] So I control the narrative right now. I don’t control it in February because [if] Brady gets hurt and we go 10-7, it’s an open interview for the job.”

Tampa Bay was 8-9 with Brady starting every game of the 2022 season.

Joe looks forward to the next time Arians sets the record straight about why he retired from coaching.

33 Responses to “Anger, Health Played A Part In Bruce Arians’ Retirement”

  1. Larrd Says:

    The Bucs would have been 13-4 with Arians as head coach in 2022.

  2. RBUC Says:

    The ONLY reason the Bucs had double digit wins in 2020 & 2021 is because of the number of overwhelming (at the end of their careers) but great players! THE COACHES DIDN’T MATTER 1 BIT!! Today the team is CONSIDERABLY less talented!!!!

  3. D-Rome Says:

    I agree with Larrd. 11-6 at worst.

  4. A Bucs Fan Says:

    It was always health related. He was in the hospital for the Pittsburgh game due to his heart health. That was the game we all should have realized that BA’s red pen was the offense. But he needed to slow down. Period.

  5. Tye Says:

    IF Arians was still the HC, Most likely than not, the Bucs would be given far greater chances to win the SB next year by all or most predictions…

    Arians making Bowels HC has set the Bucs back several years and wasted the talents of their aging players!

  6. Allbuccedup Says:

    Arians was a very good head coach Bowles is just going through the motions.

  7. Todd Rolls Says:

    Liam coen

  8. Arians4President Says:

    Not being able to stand comfortably for four hours is a pretty big factor for a head coach.

    He could be president, but not an NFL head coach.

  9. Duthsty Rothdes Says:

    Too bad he stepped down; it seems the guy loves the bay area and might have an itch

  10. Kb Says:

    So we wasted the last year of TB12 b/c Bucco Bruce had a temper tantrum over 2 guys(who shouldn’t be H.C) not getting HC jobs

  11. HC Grover Says:

    He was jealous of Brady. Simple as that.

  12. Hearty Dickerson Says:

    Wow so it is true. Arians got pissy his under qualified pet projects weren’t being considered by the other 30 NFL teams, so he force-fed the Bucs Todd.

  13. dbbuc711 Says:

    He must really be angry now that Byron is still unemployed

  14. DungyDance Says:

    “Joe looks forward to the next time Arians sets the record straight about why he retired from coaching.”


    Tough sometimes for BA to remember which half truth to trot out. Also, has Leftwich been named general manager somewhere yet? Clearly he should just skip right over head coach in consideration of his awesomeness. Maybe even have him go right to VP of football operations.

  15. First Name Greatest Says:

    Let’s be real Arians is a GREAT SALESMAN for his friends and former players. The fans and the media will never know the real reason he retired suddenly.

    I love the success Arians had here for a short time but lose a little bit of respect for him about how he was so upset that Bowles & Byron didn’t get jobs but was NOT able to manage the AB situation to give the Bucs a real chance at a repeat.

    Arians didn’t call plays, he didn’t have to whisper to a GOAT QB, every practice I attended he was on a golf cart straight chillin, what was he doing here? He should’ve been making sure the uber talented players were happy and primed for another deep playoff run not shooting his mouth off.

    Coaching isn’t all about the X’s and O’s it’s about managing your players various personalities as well. Arians failed badly in that department

  16. ChiBuc Says:

    Why do we care? Time to move on Joe, Big ego Bruce had his time in the sun. There is a new offense forthcoming and now, after some success, this groundhog emerges to cast his shadow on Coen. Where was BA as Lefty was drowning, where was he during the 6 game slide, why has he never spoken about his selection of Trask…?? He needs to either get on the horse and be accountable or get the eff out of the stall, because this self indulgent glory hound is getting old.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Arians … “I don’t control it (the narrative) in February because [if] Brady gets hurt and we go 10-7, it’s an open interview for the job.”

    That pretty much explains WHY BA chose to delay his retirement announcement until late March. He intentionally put the Glazers in a position where they’d have to select Todd Bowles as their HC to replace him (to avoid the ‘open interview’ process).

    And for those saying that BA would’ve been 13-4 or 11-6 in 2022, that’s horsepuckey. Brady was a shell of his former self that year, Gronk was gone, Suh was gone, JPP was gone, Whitehead was gone, Cappa was gone, Jensen missed the whole year due to injury, Shaq missed half the year due to injury, Donnie Smith played injured much of the season, etc, etc.

    I still suspect that BA saw the writing on the wall early that season. The talent level wasn’t gonna be nearly as good as it was in 2021. Plus Brady would’ve bolted to several other teams IF JL hadn’t held him to his contract; he wasn’t a happy camper from the git-go. The rest of the NFC South sucked that year (all 7-10), so we surely would’ve made the playoffs with BA at the helm, but probably with a 9-8 record. Too much working against us that year.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Allbuccedup … ‘Arians was a very good head coach Bowles is just going through the motions.’

    I wonder if the Bucs players would agree with you on that. I suspect the answer is NO.

  19. BradyGronk Fan Says:

    But some people said he was pushed out by Brady.

  20. unbelievable Says:

    Good ole Bullchit Bruce, doing what he does best lol.

  21. BUCman Says:

    Arians screwed the fans by manipulating ownership into making Bowles head coach. He waited to step down after all the other vacant head coaching jobs had been filled leaving ownership no choice but to settle for Bowles. Bowles is an above average Defensive coordinator but below average Head coach. Arians cared more about creating his own legacy by promoting his underlings than he cared about the future of this team. He now paints it as if he was being SELFLESS helping Bowles and Leftwich when he was actually being SELFISH looking out only for his own legacy.

  22. Jeffs grandpa Says:

    Can’t bs a bs’er

  23. Hodad Says:

    Who cares, and no we wouldn’t have won the SB if he coached last year. Tom Brady was a shell of his old self last season. It was never meant to be. Thanks for the memorys, enjoy retirement.

  24. Citrus County Says:

    Kangol Hat says: “[I don’t need to] win another 15 games for me to be happy,” Arians said. “I’d rather see Todd in position to be successful and not have to take some [bad] job. I’m probably retiring next year anyway, in February [2023] So I control the narrative right now. I don’t control it in February because [if] Brady gets hurt and we go 10-7, it’s an open interview for the job.”

    This is just more support for my theory. The Hat wanted Bowles to get a HC job elsewhere and his protege Leftnut to be HC for the Bucs. In addition to Brady not retiring after the SB win (so the Hat could get Baker) and Brady wanting the Hat gone, the Hat conspired (my speculation) to make Brady look bad in an effort to get him to leave, but Brady stayed for the 2 yrs. and 50 million remaining on his contract. And why not, who’s going to view the GOAT in an unfavorable manner ? So now the Hat is back in the good graces of the team ? MAYBE EVERYONE (front office) was pissed at Brady for not retiring and thus the resulting chaos. The question that remains is; Why, after the same amount of time, hasn’t Leftnut been rehabilitated like the Hat ? Possible answer; The Arians Foundation and his continued presence in the community.

    I stand on my theory that the offense was sabotaged for a number of reasons and most of, but not all, the fingerprints were those of Leftnut.

  25. Aceofaerospace Says:

    There’s a good reason why 32 teams passed on Leftwich and 31 teams were smart enough to pass on Bowels. You should probably just be quiet now Bruce.

  26. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I love that 10-7 is a failure to Bruce Arians.

    That’s what we need in a head coach!

  27. Lakeland Steve Says:

    HC Grover, he was jealous of Brady? Really? That’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

  28. Toad Bowels Says:

    Leftwich was the assistant offensive coordinator for the Afghan Olympic tiddlywinks team in 2023. Sadly, they finished 2-16.

  29. gotbbucs Says:

    Arians was in the midst of running players away from this team faster than the FO could replace them.

    This dude should be selling used cars somewhere, not influencing the GM of an NFL franchise to draft and hoard QBs.

    Is there anyone else with a big mouth and bigger ego inside One Buc that wants to talk about revisionist history? Let’s hear from the special assistant to the head grounds keeper.

  30. The Daily Coroner Says:

    Byron Leftwich a Head Coach? What!

  31. Buccos Says:

    Arians could have gone into the HOF with one more SB win. So I think he was being selfless to promote Bowles when he did. He used his power to help one of his oldest friends. It just goes to show, it’s not what you know but who you know

  32. Stevo Says:

    I love Bruce but if he thinks Leftwich is head coach material then it truly was time for him to retire.

  33. Robert Says:

    The Bucs will draft Michael Penix this year. At the end of the year Todd Bowles will be fired. Bruce Arians will be rehired as coach and Todd Bowles will be DC again. Heard it here first