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NFL sends warning letter to Bruce Arians, Buccaneers

Mike Florio and Chris Simms were perplexed by Bruce Arians' presence on the Buccaneers' sideline but admit it paid off in Tampa Bay's visit to New Orleans.

The decision to impose a one-game suspension on receiver Mike Evans was only part of the league’s reaction to Sunday’s brouhaha between the Bucs and the Saints. The NFL also had a message for the team and former head coach Bruce Arians.

Per a league source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL sent a warning letter to Arians and the Buccaneers in the aftermath of Sunday’s incident.

Arians was properly in the bench area generally, but he was clearly in the white stripe reserved for officials, players, and coaches during the altercation. He also was clearly involved in the verbal aspect of the kerfuffle.

The specifics of the warning aren’t known at this point. Presumably, the Buccaneers face potential penalties during the game, and Arians faces potential discipline in the form of a fine or possibly even a banishment from the bench area. Regardless, it likely won’t get to that.

“He’ll comply,” the source said.

The league realizes that there’s a potential problem from having a former head coach serve as an unofficial agitator and/or otherwise behaving as if he’s still the coach even though he isn’t. Good for the league to shut it down, swiftly and decisively.