With the NFL head coaching carousel continuing to turn each year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may lose both their coordinators in 2022, leaving Bruce Arians and the Buccaneers with a different looking staff after this season.
The Bucs made headlines when they became the first team in the Super Bowl era to return all 22 starters and some change in their quest to “go for two” as champions. The other part of their amazing offseason that isn’t getting as much press is that they returned their coaching staff as well, which includes offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Both were on the radars of head coaching searches this past offseason, and will undoubtedly be again heading into 2022, and should be bigger favorites to land jobs. That means that 2021 could be the final season for the both of them in Tampa Bay.
Leftwich was already high on the lists of candidates at the end of 2020, and now with the Bucs offense set to explode, should he even higher after this season. He is beloved by his players, which goes a long way. As a bonus, he was also beloved by this writer during his time as the starting quarterback at Marshall University. As for Bowles, he is a former head coach with the New York Jets, and while his tenure wasn’t spectacular, he did have a 10-6 season with the Jets. The Jets. At 10-6. With his experience and defense of the Buccaneers putting on a show for the world in Super Bowl LV, he’ll also be a favorite to land another head coaching job.
Both have a lot going for them when it comes to being head coaching candidates. The NFL is always looking for younger offensive coaches, with Leftwich is, or guys with prior experience to steady the ship, which Bowles is. The growing public demand for more African American head coaches is also something to take into account, especially by the league itself.
So what would that mean for the Buccaneers? Well, thankfully the team is still chock-full of talent, and should still have Tom Brady, which is certainly helpful. One caveat there to consider though, is that after Charlie Weiss and Romeo Crennel left the New England Patriots after the 2004 season, Brady and Bill Belichick wouldn’t win the Super Bowl for another decade. The point is, assistants and coaching staff matter.
At the end of the day though, this situation is almost another year away, so the Buccaneers don’t need to worry. They’re heavy favorites to repeat as champs in 2021, and all of their focus should be there. Bowles and Lefwich aren’t thinking about next season, but if they were to leave after 2021, what better way for them to go out than as repeat Super Bowl champions.