TAMPA, Fla. — As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers embark on their head-coaching search to replace Dirk Koetter, the hottest name coming out of the gate is former Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians.
That’s because the York High graduate knows Bucs general manager Jason Licht from his Arizona days and also has a deep history of getting the most out of his quarterbacks.
Apparently, Arians is willing to listen.
Arians, who retired from the Cardinals at the end of the 2017, has previously said that he would only be interested in returning to NFL to coach the Browns. But he told the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport in a text message that he would be interested in discussing the Bucs vacancy.
“I know Jason (Licht),” he told Rapoport. “So, I would listen.”
That’s not necessarily a ringing endorsement that he's banging down doors for the job, but it says he’s willing to entertain the possibility.
Arians was 49-30 in five seasons in the Arizona, a stint that included two playoff appearances and a trip to the NFL title game in 2015.
Time will tell, but Black Monday brings a whole new batch of coaches looking for jobs — and potential Tampa Bay coaching candidates — into the fray.
So far Monday, Cincinnati had fired Marvin Lewis, Miami fired Adam Gase and Denver fired Vance Joseph and Arizona fired Steve Wilks.
On Sunday, the Bucs fired Koetter, the Jets let go of Todd Bowles, a report said the Browns will move on from interim coach Gregg Williams and Green Bay will have a vacancy after firing Mike McCarthy during the season.