Bruce Arians not only won games for the Bucs, he paved the way for minority coaches

With all the wild, unbridled speculation about why Bruce Arians has stepped down as head coach of Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this week, it seems the media and fans have forgotten what is the usual protocol when a coach who wins the Super Bowl , retires.

We forgot to mention it.

We forgot to honor his memory.

We forgot to say goodbye properly.

So instead of pondering why Arians is leaving the Tampa Bay coaching position, let’s just be thankful that he ever became the Tampa Bay coach.

Let’s honor his legacy.

The legacy of victory and smiles.

A legacy of love and fidelity.

A legacy of inclusiveness and diversity.

Thank you, Bruce Arians, for all you have done for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the NFL coaching profession.

Let’s start with Tom Brady, who is now shown not only as a defender of the team, but also a de facto general manager, property partner, and now head coach. Due to the strange timing of Arians ’retirement (more than two months after the end of the season) followed by Brady’s even greater retirement, there are rumors and rumors that Brady was secretly putting Arians to retire.

Believe what you want to believe about whether Brady made Ariadne walk on the board of the Pirate pirate ship, but make no mistake: Ariadne is the main reason Brady ever boarded a pirate ship.

Brady was delighted with Arians ’reputation as an offensive guru and quarterback; he loved Ariadne’s fearless philosophy of “risk-free, biscuit-free”; he was intrigued by Arians ’reputation as a character coach of players who likes to drink with the team a couple of holiday cocktails after victories. As Arians once said of his relationship with the players, “I’m not a father. I’m a cool uncle you’d like to have a drink with. “

Unlike the cruel, indomitable, dictatorial Bill Belichik, the Arians were willing to let Brady be Brady; have more contribution to the attack, game plan and, yes, personnel issues. He even allowed Brady to persuade him to sign Antonio Brown’s permanent disgruntled receiver.

The Arians clearly hit Belichik in a conversation about Brady with NBC’s Peter King before the Bucs won the 2021 Super Bowl.

“I allow Tom to be himself,” Arians said. “New England did not allow him to become a coach. I let him train. Sometimes I just sit and watch. “

Brady, of course, gets the main credit for the fact that he came to Tampa and immediately led the “Bucks” to the first playoffs in a decade and the first in two decades of the championship. But it’s not just a coincidence that at an unprecedented age of 44, Brady breaks away from two of his best statistical seasons. Don’t be fooled, old Buchanar Bruce, a defender wise and offensive genius, had a lot to do with Brady’s renaissance as one of the league’s elite pioneers.

The year before Brady arrived in Tampa, he had completed 61% of his assists at 4,057 yards and 24 touchdowns with the Patriots. Last season with the Bucs he scored 68% and led the league with 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns.

Although Arians has only coached Tampa Bay for three seasons, he has the highest winning percentage among all coaches in Bucs history. Here’s everything you need to know: Arians has recorded five playoff wins with the Bucks in three seasons; for the 43 years prior to his arrival the franchise had only six wins in the playoffs.

And Arians didn’t just win games; be paved in the process. In these political, racial, sexual times, when the NFL hired (or lacked) minority coaches was put under the microscope, Arians didn’t need a Rooney rule to do the right thing. When he took office in Tampa Bay, the Bucks became the only team in the league with exclusively black coordinators – offensive, defensive and special teams. Not only that, the Bucks also became the first team with two full-time female assistant coaches,

“Inclusion and diversity are great ways to learn,” Arians would say. “I mean, the more attention you get from different types of votes, the better you get the result. The first thing a player asks a coach is, “How do you make me better?” He doesn’t really care if it’s a man or a woman, black, white, brown, yellow, who[ever]; he just wants someone to help him get better. Coaches are just glorified teachers. I had the best teachers of different races, different ethnic groups, men and women. If you can teach, you can train. ”

One of the reasons Arian claims to be retiring is that he wanted to create his own replacement, Defense Coordinator Todd Bowles, for success. Bowles, who played for the Arians at Temple and coached with the Arians for many years, is becoming one of the few black men in NFL history to get a second chance as head coach. Bowles used to be the head coach of the New York Jets in 2015-18, when he was 24-40.

Orient says that when Brady made the shocking decision to retire a couple of weeks ago, his decision to retire became “easy”. With Brady and many other key players returning from last year’s Division Championship team, Arians knew the Bowles would take on the Super Cup contender.

“We are in the best shape we have ever been,” Arians said. “There is no better time to hand over the torch than now. A number of people asked, “Why do you give up the chance to win another Super Cup and get into the Hall of Fame?” Because I don’t give [expletive] about the Hall of Fame. For me, continuity is much more important. It has been my dream for a long time. Guys who know me know I wanted one of my guys to take the job. That’s the most important thing for me. “

So far, Bruce Arians.

Whether or not Tom Brady was involved in your departure will always be the subject of controversy, but there is no debate about it:

You were a damn football coach, not to mention an amazing teacher and friend of your players and assistants.

A pirate ship will not be like you without a captain.

When another great pirate, Jimmy Buffett, sang:

“I wave goodbye,

I pray God’s speed,

I wish you great weather,

Good luck more than you need.

Email me mbianchi@orlandosentinel.com. Write to me on Twitter @BianchiWrites and listen to my Open Mike radio show every weekday from 6 to 9:30 on FM 96.9, AM 740 and HD 101.1-2


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