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Bucs ownership wanted Bruce Arians to call plays

Mike Florio and Chris Simms make their predictions for the 2019 NFL season, including which team can go worst to first and which team will miss the playoffs with a winning record.

When the Bucs hired Bruce Arians, they hired him not only as head coach but to call the plays.

So Joel and Bryan Glazer “were not real fired up that [Arians] said he’s not going to be calling the plays,” Andrea Kremer reported Tuesday on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

Arians, 66, delegated those duties to offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. Leftwich, 39, is a former NFL quarterback who has never called plays.

Arians confirmed to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times that he had to sell ownership on Leftwich.

“Yeah, there was a real good conversation about it,’’ Arians said. “I said, ‘Just trust me. My hand is there. I’m right over his shoulder. He is trained and ready to go.’ It’s just something I wanted to do.’’

Arians has tried to balance his job with his health this time around, having left the Cardinals after the 2017 season for health reasons. That went into his thought process when giving Leftwich the reins of the offense.

“It’s easy right now,” Arians said of watching and listening.

Arians still will have a big hand in the offense. It will just be a first for the game plan and the play calls not to have his signature on them.