Seems as if a couple of media members are making the case for Bucs coach Todd Bowles to be given rope if things go south this season.
Speaking about the Bucs and Bowles, Alex Marvez and Max Starks, co-hosts of “Late Hits” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, explained the uphill climb Bowles had — and has — as coach of the Bucs.
Today is Bowles’ one-year anniversary of being named Bucs head coach. Because Bowles was thrust into the job unexpectedly when Bucco Bruce Arians retired, assistant coaches Bowles likely wanted to hire were already locked into jobs.
So Bowles took over a team, Marvez detailed, that had someone else’s offensive staff and likely wasn’t capable of running an offense Bowles preferred, and it was led by an aging iconic quarterback who some believed wasn’t mentally locked in.
Then when Tom Brady retired, the Bucs found themselves in salary cap hell, handcuffed and unable to freely rebuild the roster.
Starks, a two-time Super Bowl-winner with the Steelers and former Gators offensive tackle, sympathized with Bowles.
“This is not the ideal situation for Todd Bowles to walk into for his next head coaching job,” Starks said of Bowles and the Bucs. “Knowing that you had all of these parameters working against you.
“When you come in as a head coach, you are not usually thrust into a win-now mode team. It was already an unusual [timing for Bowles’ hiring]. That usually happens in January. Then it was late-March when it happened.
“So if you are Todd Bowles, you are trying to pick up the pieces. It’s pouring rain and you are walking around with a punch bowl trying to catch as much [rain] as you can. But you are missing a lot of it along the way.”
Starks added if Team Glazer has a clear, open mind, they will give Bowles “two-to-three years” to get on his feet and be able to build the Bucs the way he plans to.
Marvez and Starks made good points. Still, hovering over Bowles’ head is the fact he chose not to fire/replace failed offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich at midseason when it was clear the guy was so over his head he should have been nicknamed “SpongeBob.”
Also, Bowles had a losing season despite having the greatest quarterback of all time. Joe doesn’t know what to say about that.
To his credit, Bowles did win the NFC South.
Look, Joe gets everything that Marvez and Starks said. It was not the best of situations for Bowles, or any coach in Bowles’ shoes. You could almost argue when he was handed the keys, the timing and circumstances were set up for him to fail in the long run.
At the end of the day, Bowles is the head coach. He’s responsible for the whole team, not just the defense. The fact he or his coaches could not adjust the offense or make necessary changes is, in the end, Bowles’ responsibility.
Let’s see what Bowles can do with
Baker Mayfield competing quarterbacks. If Bowles and the Bucs are able to make a playoff run, things should even improve in 2024 when the Bucs have more Team Glazer loot to play with.
This content was originally published here.