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Tampa Bay finalizing deal to make Bruce Arians as team’s head coach

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are finalizing a 4-year deal to make Bruce Arians the team’s new head coach, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The deal also comes with a 5th-year option, according to Rapoport.

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 immediately after the season. Koetter went 5-11 in his final season as Tampa Bay’s head coach.

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.

According to reports, former New York Jets’ head coach Todd Bowles is rumored to join Arians in Tampa Bay as his defensive coordinator. 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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