Bruce Arians Confirms He'll Return as Buccaneers HC for 2022 Season

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 23, 2022

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians arrives on the field before an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
AP Photo/John Raoux

It wasn't all bad news for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following Sunday's 30-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Round.

"Oh yeah," head coach Bruce Arians told reporters when asked if he would return in 2022.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport noted that echoes what Arians suggested last week when he said, "I'm coaching till I can't."

Sunday's loss would have been quite the game to go out on.

Tampa Bay looked completely overmatched when it trailed 27-3 late in the third quarter, but it came storming back with 24 straight points to tie it up.

It appeared as if the game was headed to overtime when Leonard Fournette scored a touchdown in the final minute, especially since the Rams turned it over three times and missed a field goal in the second half.

However, Matthew Stafford rescued the day after unleashing a deep ball to Cooper Kupp on the final possession to move the Rams into field-goal range, where they eventually won with a Matt Gay kick.

The field goal ended the Buccaneers' chances at a repeat Lombardi Trophy and brought the franchise's immediate future into view since Tom Brady is 44 years old and "noncommittal to playing beyond this season," per ESPN's Jeff Darlington and Adam Schefter.

Yet Tampa Bay can at least take solace knowing Arians will be back and looking to add to a resume that includes two Coach of the Year awards and last season's Super Bowl title.

He has coached the Buccaneers since the start of the 2019 campaign and has a 31-18 record with two playoff appearances in three seasons. He has also been the head coach for the Arizona Cardinals and an interim head coach for the Indianapolis Colts in his career.

It remains to be seen whether Brady will return and if offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is given a head-coaching opportunity elsewhere, but there will at least be continuity at the head coach spot.