New Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians thought he was ready to walk away from coaching.
It didn’t take him long to realize how wrong he was.
In a video interview with Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, Arians said his own emotions and all the links to the Tampa Bay job made it a natural fit. He had previously worked with Bucs General Manager Jason Licht, and know many of his trusted assistants were available, and he was closer to his family in Alabama.
“The stars just kind of aligned,” Arians said. “I wasn’t sure one would open that I would want and I actually said no to a couple. And then knowing Jason [Licht], those in the Glazer family close to my grandson, and then Todd’s [Bowles] available, Keith’s [Armstrong] available, Byron’s [Leftwich] available, the whole staff is available. It’s like, ‘You’re supposed to do this, this is like a sign. You have to do this.’ ”
Arians said he began missing coaching the week of the regular season opener, the first game he was working for CBS. During production meetings, all the things he remembered came flooding back.
“It started actually in the first game,” Arians said. “I knew I was going to miss the players and the locker room. But during Pittsburgh and Cleveland, the first game and the production meeting, seeing the guys and it grew and grew and grew.
“By Week Eight, I was at practice, the defensive back messed up. I went to correct him and said, ‘Oops, this isn’t my team.’ . . . It was growing each week how much I missed the locker room and the arena.”
Assuming he remains healthy, the Buccaneers will clearly benefit from Arians’ expertise and enthusiasm, as they try to snap a streak of 11 years without a playoff appearance.