Ex-Cardinals HC Bruce Arians Officially Named Buccaneers Coach

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2019

FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2017, file photo, Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians watches during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Glendale, Ariz. Arians is joining CBS as an NFL game analyst. Arians, a two-time winner of the AP's Coach of the Year award, retired as coach of the Arizona Cardinals in January. He will work with play-by-play announcer Greg Gumbel and analyst Trent Green in a three-man booth.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

One year after retiring as an NFL head coach, Bruce Arians will be back on the sidelines with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team announced Tuesday.

ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported Arians was finalizing a deal with the Buccaneers to become their next head coach. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network provided additional details on his contract and staff:

Schefter added the Buccaneers will send a 2019 sixth-round draft pick to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for Arians' coaching rights and a seventh-round pick.

Former New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles will be the defensive coordinator, per Albert Breer of The MMQB.

The 66-year-old spent five seasons as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals from 2013 to 2017. He led the franchise to a 49-30-1 record with two playoff appearances and a trip to the 2015 NFC Championship Game.

Following the 2017 season, Arians announced he was walking away after 42 consecutive years as a coach in the NFL and college football:

"The tears you see are really tears of joy, peace. I'll miss the players. I'll miss coming out of the locker room, hearing the national anthem because it still gets me ... I probably truly didn't know until that kick [Sunday] went through that I was going to retire. I know everybody speculated for months ... you now have the story. Like I said, it's been an unbelievable journey."

Arians is one of 11 coaches to win the Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year award more than once (2012, 2014). His 2012 honor came after leading the Indianapolis Colts to a 9-3 record as interim head coach when Chuck Pagano took a leave of absence to undergo treatment for leukemia.

Specializing in offensive strategy, Arians had six teams rank in the top 10 in scoring during his 14 years as a coordinator and head coach with four different clubs. He won two Super Bowl titles with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Bucs will be hoping Arians brings his outstanding resume and history of success to help quarterback Jameis Winston finally live up to his potential after being the No. 1 overall pick in 2015.

Winston seemed to turn a corner late last season with 1,811 passing yards and 13 touchdowns in the final seven games, but he's had successful stretches at various points in his career. Consistency has been the biggest problem on the field for the 25-year-old.

Arians has had success with quarterbacks throughout his career, including coaching Andrew Luck during his rookie season in 2012 and helping to resurrect Carson Palmer's career in 2015.

The Buccaneers are trying to find stability going with their fifth different head coach since 2009. They haven't won a postseason game since 2002 and haven't made the playoffs since 2007, with just three winning seasons in the past 11 years.

Arians' task is large, but he led a quick turnaround in Arizona with three straight winning seasons from 2013-15. The Bucs need him to make that kind of immediate impact heading into next season.

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