For the Bucs to pull the trigger on first-year coach Todd Bowles, that would tell Joe there is a major, major move coming just a few hours after news breaks that Bowles is not returning.
That’s just Joe’s hunch. And in the mind of a former NFL general manager, Bowles should be safe as we are three days away from Black Monday, when many NFL coaches are handed pink slips and parting gifts.
Joe Banner, who used to be a shot-caller for the Eagles and who is now a big shot at The33rdTeam.com, has a list of coaches who might want to be renting. He has Bowles as a “longshot” to be replaced.
Ownership is not likely to make a change after one year, but it’s been a disappointing season relative to expectations. The Bucs were supposed to be a Super Bowl contender. Instead, they’re 8-8 with Tom Brady and won a division where nobody has a winning record.
Much of the criticism has been focused on the coaching staff, particularly head coach Todd Bowles, and I understand. Though I actually would’ve been comfortable hiring him, he hasn’t done as well in Year 1 as I would’ve thought. Still, it’s rare that anyone makes a coaching change after reaching the playoffs.
Well, longshot in more ways than one.
Not only is it rare to see a coach get launched after one season, unless he is truly over his head like Nate Hackett, but Bowles won a division and with a win on Sunday would finish his first season with a winning record.
Joe wonders if there has ever been a coach replaced after his first year on the job while also winning a division.
So yeah, Joe thinks Bowles will still be leading the Bucs after Black Monday. He’s got a home playoff game to prep for.
Byron Leftwich? Well, we’ll see if he’s still around in a few weeks. That’s a much different story.
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