Bruce Arians has made it clear that he’ll be back in 2021. If he had lost offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich to a head-coaching job elsewhere, that may not have been the case.
Appearing Thursday on The Herd, Arians said that he’d consider retiring only if he he had to go back to calling offensive plays.
“If I lost Byron or Todd [Bowles], I’d have to think about [quitting] because not losing any coaches this year makes next year so much easier and so much easier to repeat,” Arians said. “But once you start deleting your coaching staff, I don’t want to go back to calling plays. And Byron right now is still the only guy I trust doing it. And I’d have to think long and hard if I was going to lose him.”
While the failure of any team to even interview Leftwich for a head-coaching job made it much easier for Arians to return, things could get interesting after the coming season. If Leftwich begins to receive head-coaching interest, the Bucs could end up losing both Leftwich and Arians if someone else hires Leftwich and Arians then retires.
The best plan for the Bucs, then, could be to promise the job to Leftwich whenever Arians retires. Before Tom Brady agrees to extend his contract beyond 2021, he may insist on that kind of an arrangement.