The Buccaneers have offered up a cockamamie justification for senior adviser to the G.M. Bruce Arians being on the sideline during Sunday’s game in New Orleans. Tampa’s flimsy argument (there was no seat for Arians or his boss, Jason Licht upstairs) ignores an important wrinkle.
Even if Arians was properly on the sideline, he shouldn’t have been on the white line at the side of the field.
Via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Saints coach Dennis Allen discussed the fact on Monday that Arians wasn’t simply on the sideline. He was in the white stripe that borders the playing field.
“Typically, that’s an area that’s been reserved for players and coaches, trainers,” Allen said.
Allen is right. And that’s the real issue here. Arians was acting as if he’s still the head coach. He’s not. He retired. Regardless of whether he did so on his own or he got a nudge after quarterback Tom Brady unretired, Arians isn’t the coach. He shouldn’t be on the sideline. If he is, he shouldn’t be literally on the sideline.
And, again, the argument the Bucs offered up on Monday is bogus. The Saints assigned nearly 20 seats in the press box to Buccaneers employees, including Arians and Licht. That’s exactly, we’re told, what the Buccaneers do when the Saints visit Tampa. For Saints at Bucs, G.M. Mickey Loomis and his staff get seats in the Raymond James Stadium press box.
If sitting in the press box is beneath Arians, he could have sat in the owner’s suite, box 403. Or he could have sat in one of three other suites that the Buccaneers bought (we’re told) for the game. Given that Arians won a Super Bowl for the franchise two years ago, they surely would have found a spot for him in one of the four suites.