TAMPA, FL – Todd Bulls made his way into the NFL on the defensive side of the ball.
He is not afraid to talk about abuse.
The new Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach won’t be shy about sharing his thoughts with offensive coordinator Byron Liftwich and Quarterback Tom Brady.
“I’m the head coach. I’m going to do whatever I want to do,” Bowles said Thursday, the day after he took office Bruce Aryan has moved into the front office role. “I’m not going to call plays. I understand that. But I do have information about how the defenses are trying to attack them. I have input on certain situations in the half, two minutes, three, go to or not to go in and those kinds of things. That’s my job and I’m free to do that. In At the same time, I understand and respect Byron and Tom a lot and they know that. I think we’re off to a good start from a communication point of view and we just have to keep building.”
Bowles is getting a second chance after running 24-40 in four seasons with the New York Jets from 2015 through 2018. He was also the interim head coach at Miami for three games in 2011. He became only the 12th minority to receive a second major coaching chance a year ago. 1963, according to data in the 2022 NFL Diversity and Inclusion Report.
“When you first start out in New York, you try to do things the right way and don’t do them your way, you end up regretting it. So I’ll do it my way,” said Bowles.
The Arians joined the Bowles for their opening press conference and learned that the Buccaneers would get him into the Ring of Honor for the team this season. Brady was also present.
Arians, who will turn 70 this year, said his decision to step down as coach was about “succession” and making sure the team was handed over to the Bulls with a chance of success. When Brady was discharged on March 13, Ariane knew the time was right.
“The succession is important to me,” Ariane said. “This has been my dream for a long time. Guys who know me, they know I want one of my companions to take over.”
Arianes denied reports of friction with Brady, saying it “could not be further from the truth”.
The Bowles and the Aryans’ relationship goes back over 40 years. Bowles played a safety role for the Arians at Temple in the 1980s and was defensive coordinator for the Aryans staff in Arizona before joining him in Tampa.
“He’s the most influential coaching figure and father figure I’ve ever known in this league,” Bowles said, adding that he was bitter when he received the news from Ariane.
Bowles explained that he has a different personality than the Arian.
“The only thing we have in common are our bald heads,” said Bowles. “He smokes, and I don’t. He drinks, I don’t. So, we didn’t get in each other’s way.”
The Arians led the Buccaneers to their second Super Bowl title in 2020 and an NFC South title in 2021. With Brady back, the Bowles take over a team with championship aspirations.
“Good players make up good coaches so you always want to have good players,” Bowles said. “I won’t apologize for inheriting a talented team. I’ve had less success with the team. It’s different from the fact that I don’t think I can go into this attempt to be Bruce. I’ll fail miserably if I try. … I can be me.”
“I understand a lot of things I have learned from my coaching experience, especially from him so I will take that approach. The only thing I know is that I know I can coach football players no matter if I am a professional or a novice. All of your players want to be trained and help them improve. I can help people get better and I will use my technique.”
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