NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Cardinals, Packers


During an interview with Rich Eisen on Wednesday, new Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians explained that “everything just fell into place” for him and Tampa Bay.

“Jason Licht’s a good friend,” Arians said, per Greg Auman. “That intrigued me, having a general manager I know and trust that’s really good. … My whole staff came available. Everything’s just falling into place.”

“For me, I miss the arena … It got itchier and itchier,” Arians said of coming out of retirement, per Auman.

  • Arians confirmed that Byron Leftwich will be the team’s offensive play-caller: “Byron Leftwich will be calling plays. Obviously I’ll have a big hand in it.” (Greg Auman)
  • Interestingly enough, Jason La Canfora says he would not be surprised if Todd Bowles was the Buccaneers head coach in two years, given that Bruce Arians is likely a “year-to-year proposition” at this stage of his career.
  • According to Josh Weinfuss, Arians is trying to hire “much” of his previous staff when he worked for the Cardinals with defensive assistants Kevin Ross and Nick Rapone expected to join him in Tampa Bay.
  • Alex Marvez reports that Kacy Rodgers is joining the Buccaneers’ defensive staff as their defensive line coach and DL coach Brenston Buckner is being let go.
  • Greg Auman mentions that two logical possibilities for the Buccaneers’ special teams coordinator position are Amos Jones and Keith Armstrong.
  • Rick Stroud reports that the Buccaneers have hired OL coach Sean Kugler.
  • Greg Auman adds that the Buccaneers have also hired Mike Caldwell as their next inside linebackers coach.
  • According to Greg Auman, Tampa Bay is expected to hire TE coach Rick Christophel.


  • New Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury said during his introductory press conference on Wednesday that he will call plays, but he would like to hire an offensive coordinator who could help mesh his offensive ideas with some traditional NFL offensive philosophies. (Darren Urban)
  • Kingsbury mentioned that he wants the defense to be aggressive and plans to lean heavily on GM Steve Keim to help find coordinator prospects. (Darren Urban)
  • Keim said specifically that they will try to find a veteran defensive coordinator that runs a 3-4 system that caters to their personnel strengths. (Darren Urban)


On Wednesday, the Packers introduced Matt LaFleur as the team’s next head coach.

  • Packers president Mark Murphy said LaFleur will report directly to him. (Tom Silverstein)
  • LaFleur told reports that he “absolutely intend on calling the plays” for the offense: “That’s why it’s so important to me to hire quality people around me.” (Ryan Wood)
  • LaFleur added that he plans to draw from his experience on coaching Matt Ryan in Atlanta when approaching his working relationship with Aaron Rodgers. (Olivia Reiner)
  • According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, recently hired Packers HC Matt LaFleur has “feelers out” on potential offensive coordinators.
  • Silverstein adds that LaFleur will likely seek a coach with knowledge of the “Kyle Shanahan/Sean McVay” type offense, given LeFleur coached under Shanahan from 2015-2016 and McVay in 2017.

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