Bruce Arians spoke to reporters Thursday in a farewell press conference after announcing his surprise retirement as coaches of the Buccaneers, and ended the media session with a zinger aimed right at Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
Arians exited the podium before circling back for one final message: “One more thing. It’s been great working with you guys in the press. You’ve been fantastic, all over the country, alright? Florio, you can write what you want. It’s OK.”
Arians’ message was greeted with loud laughs and applause from those in attendance at the press conference.
The former coach walked off and did not further explain his call-out. Florio, however, has been critical of Arians in recent weeks, questioning the coach’s relationship with Tom Brady and speculating that the legendary quarterback was trying to force his way onto the 49ers. Florio is not alone in his belief that Brady had a role in Arians’ surprising move off the sidelines.
In Thursday’s press conference, Arians defended his “great relationship” with Brady and denied reports that claim otherwise.
Afterward, Florio said he “didn’t buy” Arians’ comments.
Arians will now transition to the Bucs front office in a senior consultant role. Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles will take over the head coach.
“I wanted to ensure when I walked away that Todd Bowles would have the best opportunity to succeed,” Arians said in a statement announcing his retirement from coaching.
During Thursday’s press conference, Arians added, “There’s no better time to pass the torch then now.”
Arians’ move to Tampa Bay’s front office came just two weeks after Brady decided to unretire and return to the Buccaneers.