Buccaneers HC Appears on Hot Seat List, But Does He Belong There?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles, left, talks with line judge Mark Stewart during the second half of the team's NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

By- Bucs Report – Special to Sports Talk Florida

Another offseason, another story about Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles being on the hot seat. This time it comes from CBS Sports‘ Cody Benjamin.

But first,

Bowles took over the head coaching spot when former head coach Bruce Arians stepped down in 2022. Since then, Bowles and the Buccaneers have won two division titles. Seems odd then thay Bowles should be considered a hot seat candidate right? Then you dig a little deeper and see that Bowles record as the Bucs HC has him at 17-17 and 1-2 in the playoffs. Not exactly bad, but definitely not great.

So let’s see what Benjamin has to say about Bowles.

“Bowles can coach a defense as well as anyone, and his group of 2023 underdogs — featuring the scrappy Baker Mayfield under center — nearly advanced to the NFC title game. But his clubs have also gone .500 over two seasons in arguably the weakest division in football, and his situational decision-making has drawn critique. With offensive coordinator Dave Canales gone, it’s fair to wonder if he can elevate a “run-it-back” roster.”

Ok, first thing is, can we stop with the overuse of the phrase “run-it-back”? That should be reserved for the last team standing each season to say. Saying the Bucs want to “run-it-back” in 2024 is in essence saying you want to see them finish the year one game above .500 and an early round exit in the playoffs. And isn’t that in-part why Bowles is supposedly on the hotseat? But I digress.

It’s definitely worth noting that Bowles and the Buccaneers have gone 17-17 and won two division titles while eating well over $80 million in dead cap money. I don’t think this is factored in enough when people talk about the job Bowles has done.

Now I’m not going to act like Bowles doesn’t have his faults. The fault that comes to mind was touched on by Benjamin, situational decision-making. Bowles has struggled with this not just as a head coach, but as a coordinator, remember the blitz against the Rams in the playoffs? Worth noting is the lack of consistency at the Offensive Coordinator position as well. Three years, three offensive coordinators. Not ideal.

At the end of the day you have to look at the big picture here. Bowles is one of the best defensive minds in the NFL. He’s managed to drag this team to division titles every year he’s been at the helm. While the end results haven’t been hoisting the Lombardi, they have been better than expected. The question is, will a division title and playoff appearance this year be enough to keep Bowles in Tampa?

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