What will happen to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after Bruce Arians retire?
This question popped up almost immediately after Arians was hired in January of 2019 to lead the Bucs’ roster, and it hasn’t stopped being asked ever since. Even with a Super Bowl championship, there are still those out in Bucs Nation who wonder about what the future looks like.
The assumption is Tom Brady won’t be the quarterback, most likely because he’ll have retired as well, but who knows? So, with Arians and Brady gone, who will join Kyle Trask as the next leaders of the on-field production?
Will it be defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, or someone completely different because both coordinators have previously left to find other head coaching opportunities outside of Florida’s title-town?
This is the question asked to James Yarcho and me on the latest episode of the Locked On Bucs Podcast, and one we tried to answer as honestly as possible. The bottom line is, both of them could be gone.
If there’s a reason for one of them to stick around despite head coaching jobs though, it’ll be Bowles. At least, that’s how I see it.
Bowles has already been a head coach. One of just thirty-two people on this planet to hold the title of NFL head coach at the time he was doing it, he took over a New York Jets team that hadn’t lived up to expectations prior to his arrival and didn’t do much better after.
Is this the coach's fault? Surely he shares in some of the ownership. Surely he isn’t the sole carrier of the blame though either.
My thought process here is this: When you’re looking for your first head coaching job, it makes sense to take the one given to you. If you’re lucky enough to get more than one offer, take the one you want the most. Most likely though, first-time head coaches in the NFL usually get one offer - the one they accept - and it’s not usually for a team coming off of a playoff run or Super Bowl appearance.
A second-time head coach though, those are different. They tend to get the opportunity to be a little pickier. Not always, but sometimes. In part because their stock as a coach is now seasoned with experience, and has the benefit of negativity being cooked off from the years which separated them and the team they got fired from in the first place.
In short, Bowles has been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and taken the pictures. He doesn’t have to go on the next carousel ride. He can wait for the one which makes the most sense for him. Hopefully, for Bucs fans, his ride is a vertical one that sees him elevate in his current organization.
Byron Leftwich however, he’s going to be in a bit of a different position. Kind of a ‘strike while the iron is hot’ sort of deal. Granted he could probably be a little more patient as well. Take his time to work with Tom Brady as much as possible. Really tap into the TB12 method now that he’ll get to work one-on-one with him a bit more than before.
NFL teams love them a Brady coach. But he can’t be too patient. Eventually, the flame will extinguish, and if the Bucs offense sputters with it, then he may miss his ride.
This is just my take on it of course, and there are others to be heard. Specifically, James Yarcho’s. He can be heard at the Locked On Bucs Podcast. Meanwhile, you can leave yours in the comments below.
So tell us, what does the future of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coaching job look like, after Bruce Arians?