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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Articles tagged: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs coach Bruce Arians shares his opinion on brutal schedule stretch

Bruce Arians

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be at a significant disadvantage compared to other teams next season because of the way the NFL structured their schedule, and head coach Bruce Arians is not hiding the fact that he is unhappy about it.

While certain teams will have easier schedules than others because of the divisions they play in, the NFL is doing the Bucs no favors by sending them on the road for seven consecutive weeks in the middle of the year, including a trip to London. On Tuesday, Arians called the scheduled “ridiculous.”

The Bucs have a home game against the New York Giants in Week 3 on Sept. 22. From there, they travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams, New Orleans to face the Saints, and then all the way to London to take on the Carolina Panthers. They have their bye week after the London game, but they then have back-to-back road games against the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks in Week 8 and Week 9.

How much of a gauntlet is that? One NFL schedule-maker already admitted that the league messed up, though that won’t help the Buccaneers now. The team lured Arians out of retirement because they believe he is one of the better coaches in football, and the 66-year-old is going to have to do some of his best work during that brutal two-month stretch.

NFL schedule-maker admits Buccaneers have right to be unhappy

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The NFL released its full schedule this week, and it was met with the usual complaints about which teams have it easy and which got a tough draw. While the league can’t do anything about the fact that the New England Patriots get to play everyone in the AFC East twice again, the way the season is mapped out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seems downright cruel.

And at least one league official knows it.

Mike North, the NFL’s senior director of broadcast planning and scheduling, said on Sirius XM NFL Radio’s “Late Hits” Thursday that the Buccaneers and their fans have a right to be angry about the schedule, which has the Bucs on the road for seven straight weeks.

“If we had to do-over, if we had a redo, I’d love to take another shot at that Tampa Bay schedule,” North admitted. “I’m not sure that’s really fair to their fans. I’m hopeful that we didn’t do something to the Buccaneers that they feel like was really unfair.”

The Bucs have a home game against the New York Giants in Week 3 on Sept. 22. From there, they travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams, New Orleans to face the Saints, and then all the way to London to take on the Carolina Panthers. They have their bye week after the London game, but they then have back-to-back road games against the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks in Week 8 and Week 9.

That is too much travel, and it should not have happened.

“I know we’re not allowed to root for anybody,” North said. “But I’m kind of rooting for the Buccaneers through October.”

North said teams typically don’t complain publicly about schedules because they don’t want to sound like they’re making excuses, but no one would blame the Buccaneers for being upset. While we may not have listed them as taking part in any of the best revenge games of the upcoming season, the Bucs could be playing with plenty of anger in the middle part of the year.

Buccaneers hire two full-time female assistant coaches

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bruce Arians is bringing a progressive culture to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Bucs announced on Wednesday that they have hired two women for full-time coaching roles with the team. Maral Javadifar has been hired as an assistant strength and conditioning coach, and Lori Locust was added as an assistant defensive line coach. The hires make the Bucs the first NFL team with two full-time female coaches on staff.

Arians said in a statement that he wanted to help the women get their foot in the doors because he knows how difficult that is.

“I know how hard it can be to get that first opportunity to coach at the highest level of professional football,” Arians said in a statement shared by the Bucs. “Sometimes, all you need is the right organization to offer up the opportunity. The Glazer family and our general manager, Jason Licht, were extremely supportive of my decision, and I know Maral and Lori will be great additions to my coaching staff.

“I have known Lori going back to my days at Temple University and I’ve seen firsthand just how knowledgeable and passionate she is about this game. I was equally impressed with Maral’s background in performance training and physical therapy and I know she will be a valuable asset to our strength and conditioning program.”

Javadifar has a doctorate in physical therapy and has worked as a trainer and physical therapist. Locust served as the defensive line coach for the AAF’s Birmingham Iron and also served as a defensive coaching intern during training camp for the Baltimore Ravens last year.

Arians, who is entering his first season as Tampa Bay’s head coach, has a history of hiring women to roles within his team. In 2015, his Arizona Cardinals made Jen Welter the first female coach in the league.

Buccaneers say no confidential information was on Peyton Barber’s tablet

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a bit of a scare on Saturday when a team-issued tablet was stolen, but there’s apparently no danger of confidential information getting out.

According to Jenna Laine of ESPN, Buccaneers officials were able to remotely wipe running back Peyton Barber’s tablet on Saturday and it did not contain the team’s playbook, only scouting video. The team apparently has no concerns about confidential information getting out.

Barber had his tablet, along with his passport, clothing, and sunglasses, stolen from his vehicle early Saturday.

There were originally concerns that someone would have access to the Tampa Bay playbook, which is obviously a huge problem for anyone associated with the team. It sounds like there’s a defense mechanism, however, and the Buccaneers had contingency plans for this sort of thing.

Report: Todd Bowles spurns Bears to join Buccaneers as defensive coordinator

Todd Bowles

After a late intervention attempt, Todd Bowles will join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as defensive coordinator after all.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Bowles will join the Buccaneers on Bruce Arians’ staff after the Chicago Bears made a late attempt to convince him to join them.

Arians and the Buccaneers had been banking on Bowles being their new defensive coordinator all along, but the former New York Jets coach was courted late on by the Chicago Bears to replace the departing Vic Fangio. Ultimately, though, he stuck with his commitment to Arians and Tampa Bay and will be in charge of the Buccaneer defense next season.

Bucs had Bruce Arians take physical due to health concerns

Bruce Arians

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finalized a deal on Tuesday to make Bruce Arians their new head coach, and they tried to handle things thoroughly before doing so.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, the Bucs had Arians take a physical before moving forward with him as their head coach.

Arians was hospitalized twice in 2016, once during training camp and the other time in November during the season. That led to rumors he was considering retirement, which did occur after the following season.

Hiring a 66-year-old coach who had health issues is risky, which explains why they would do their due diligence first.

Bruce Arians to become Buccaneers’ head coach

Bruce Arians

Another NFL head coaching job is being filled.

The same day that the Arizona Cardinals announced they have hired Kliff Kingsbury as their head coach, a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter said Bruce Arians was finalizing a deal to become Tampa Bay’s head coach. Ian Rapoport says he is getting a four-year deal with an option for a fifth.

The Buccaneers job became available after the team fired Dirk Koetter, who completed his third unsuccessful season as the team’s head coach. Arians took the year off from coaching after retiring, but he wants back in.

Arians had success with the Arizona Cardinals and was a two-time Coach of the Year. A brilliant offensive mind, he is 58-33-1 as a head coach. He took Carson Palmer to a conference championship game and went .500 with quarterbacks like Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert. He should be able to improve Jameis Winston’s play.

One bonus about hiring Arians is that he may secure former Jets head coach Todd Bowles as his defensive coordinator. The two teamed up together in Arizona and had success.