Buccaneers Make Final Call on Todd Bowles Amid Rumors

Tom Brady & Bruce Arians

Getty Tom Brady and Bruce Arians had friction, but it was "exaggerated" according to ESPN's Jenna Laine.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are making coaching changes, but it does not appear to be involving head coach Todd Bowles. Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud reported that the Bucs are firing as many as seven assistants, including offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. The news means that Bowles’ job with Tampa Bay is safe as a new coach would want to assemble an entirely new coaching staff.

In the end, Leftwich appears to be taking the majority of the blame for the Bucs’ woes this season, but pressure is sure to mount on Bowles in 2023 if the team is unable to show improvement. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken is among the favorites to take over the Buccaneers offense.

“For the first time, Bucs coach Todd Bowles will assemble his own offensive staff,” Rapoport tweeted on January 19, 2023. “Per me and @MikeGarafolo, one name to watch as OC: Georgia OC Todd Monken. The former Bucs OC could be back.”

Bowles Signed a 5-Year Contract With the Buccaneers: Report

Despite plenty of rumors including pie-in-the-sky scenarios involving Sean Payton, the Buccaneers were not expected to move on from Bowles. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Bowles landed a new five-year contract when the former defensive coordinator was promoted to head coach last offseason.

The Buccaneers are clearly hoping that Bowles having more input on selecting his coaching staff can lead to success next season. Bowles inherited Bruce Arians’ staff after he abruptly retired last March. As far as the massive changes to the assistants, the decision was made after Bowles met with members of the Bucs ownership group.

“Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and four other offensive assistants have been fired as well as two defensive assistants, the Tampa Bay Times confirmed Thursday morning,” Stroud wrote on January 19. “The decision was made after Bowles met with members of the Glazer family, which owns the Bucs, and general manager Jason Licht.

“Bowles’ entire coaching staff that he inherited from Bruce Arians arrived to work Thursday for a staff meeting, unaware of the changes.”

The Bucs Considered Firing Leftwich During the Bye Week, Says Insider

Hours following the Buccaneers’ elimination loss to the Cowboys, Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds reported that Tampa Bay was expected to move on from Leftwich while adding that Bowles would be returning for 2023. Despite ownership’s approval of a mid-season change, Bowles opted not to fire Leftwich during the bye week despite the move receiving heavy consideration within the franchise, per Reynolds.

“The Bucs okayed a plan to fire Leftwich at midseason – either after the Ravens game on Thursday Night Football or after the bye week,” Reynolds detailed on January 17. “Instead, Bowles decided to trust his defense and Brady’s heroics and hoped that Leftwich and the offensive staff could make some improvements along the way, which didn’t happen. It’s likely that Bowles didn’t see a potential upgrade at play-caller on the current staff, which is why he stayed with Leftwich for the rest of the year.”

In addition to Monken, the Bucs insider labeled former Colts head coach Frank Reich and ex-Texans head coach Bill O’Brien as top candidates to become the next offensive coordinator. Tampa Bay will likely attempt to make a hire that will entice Tom Brady to want to re-sign with the team in free agency.

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