The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed to a deal to make Bruce Arians the franchise’s 12th head coach in team history on Tuesday night, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The final details surrounding the deal is Arians has signed on to a 4-year, $50-million contract with an option for a fifth year, according to Rapoport. Per Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Arians will also be bringing with him several familiar faces that he worked with during his days in Arizona.
Breer says that former New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles will come on board as the defensive coordinator, Harold Goodwin as the run-game coordinator, Bryon Leftwich as the offensive coordinator and Clyde Christiansen as the quarterbacks coach. Christiansen served a stint in Tampa Bay back from 1996-2001, as he served as the tight ends coach from 1996-1998, quarterbacks coach from 1999-2000 and offensive coordinator in 2001.
Arians, 66, served as the Arizona Cardinals’ head coach from 2013 to 2017 and is now replacing former Buccaneers’ head coach Dirk Koetter, who was fired almost immediately after the regular season. Koetter went 5-11 in his final season as Tampa Bay’s head coach. Koetter on Tuesday night was named as the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator.
Along with his time in Arizona, Arians’ NFL resume includes stints as the offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts, and as an interim coach with the Colts in 2012. Arians compiled a record of 50-32-1 during his time with the Cardinals.
Tampa Bay had also interviewed three other potential candidates for the position, with current Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Minnesota Vikings’ defensive coordinator George Edwards and Dallas Cowboys’ passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach Kris Richard all having interviewed.
Arians, a 2-time Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year winner in 2012 and 2014, will be tasked with maximizing the most out of 2015 No. 1 pick Jameis Winston. Despite starting off his first four games of the regular season tossing six touchdowns and 10 interceptions, Winston closed out the 2018 campaign solidly. Winston finished the season with 2,992 yards, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with a passer rating of 90.2.
The Buccaneers have a lot of tough decisions to make over the off-season, as defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, wide receiver Desean Jackson and cornerback Brent Grimes all look to be potential cuts in the coming months.
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