As we have already found out earlier this month, former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who retired from coaching following the 2017 season, is making a return to the sideline in 2019, joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be their next head coach. They had to trade for him, as the Arizona Cardinals retained his rights.
While he retired for health reasons, Arians said that he was given a C on his physical, which he considered good for himself. Apparently he also thinks it’s good to surround himself with fellow coaches—and players-turned-coaches—with whom he has worked in the past, many of them going all the way back to his coordinator days in Pittsburgh, which ended in 2011.
As I have previously written about, he has already added a handful of members to his staff that have followed him since his Steelers days or who otherwise have had ties with the team. Former Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich served as Arians’ quarterbacks coach by the end of his tenure. He will now be the offensive coordinator.
Yet another former player is inside linebacker Larry Foote. He finished his career with the Cardinals while Arians was there and liked it there enough that he decided to join the coaching staff. He will now be working that the Buccaneers’ linebackers.
Harold Goodwin is another name that followed him from Pittsburgh. in Tampa he will be the run game coordinator and will work with the offensive line. It was previously reported that Sean Kugler would join them as their offensive line coach, but that did not happen.
Now joining Leftwich, Foote, and Goodwin is yet another former player in Antwaan Randle El. Reportedly, Randle El will serve as an offensive assistant. Another name that might be familiar is former NFL safety Cody Grimm, who played for the Buccaneers. Why is this relevant? He is the son of former Steelers offensive line coach Russ Grimm, with whom Arians worked in Bill Cowher‘s final years as head coach. Cody Grimm will be special teams and defensive assistant.
Add in Amos Jones as another special teams assistant, and you can’t help but wonder what will come next. The Cardinals and Tennessee Titans, teams who previously had head coaches from the Steelers’ coaching tree, employed a number of former Steelers players. Will Arians go after more? Like, maybe a certain running back or wide receiver?