The Buccaneers have a lot of good on their roster as it stands, but that doesn’t mean that they need to keep everyone going forward.
It goes without saying that this will almost certainly be Tom Brady’s last season with the Buccaneers and likely the last of his playing football entirely. And as a result, the Bucs have spent their last three years with Brady at QB in “win now” mode, signing players to deals that will only benefit the team in the short run.
Now, you will be hard pressed to find a Bucs fan mad about any of those contracts. After all, they have led to the team winning a Super Bowl and becoming a perennial championship contender.
However, next year, the Bucs will certainly have to rebuild the team and will likely regress pretty drastically in terms of on-field performance. At that point, it’s crucial to have the right personnel to help facilitate the transition and rebuild the team to a competitor again.
That is why it’s so important that following the end of this season the Bucs part ways with both offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and head coach Todd Bowles.
This is in no way meant to be a knock to either coach personally, who by all accounts are loved by their players, staff, and the league alike. However, they have spent the last three years doing little to make a solid case that either of them can effectively lead a team through the coming transition.
Let’s start with Leftwich. While, from the outside, the Bucs offense has been one of the best the last three seasons, a large part of that can be chalked up to the pure number of offensive stars on the team coupled with the leadership of Brady. Just look at how the Bucs offense played the first few games of this season when some of their stars were hurt, and you’ll see Leftwich wasn’t prepared.
Leftwich also sees the offense in a very old school manner and often looks to run the ball far more than he should, especially in a pass-first league. If the Bucs keep him as their coordinator, their offense will probably not continue to progress with the rest of the league and likely fall behind.
As for Bowles, he has shown very little ability to change and adapt to different challenges. Even when he was the defensive coordinator for the Bucs before this year, Bowles was always a one-trick pony. He could rush a lot and prevent teams from running the ball consistently, but at no point has he demonstrated an ability to switch things up from that formula, even against teams that don’t run the ball anyway (which is more and more of the NFL).
Similar to Leftwich, Bowles isn’t a bad coach by any stretch, however, as the team and NFL continues to move forward past this Brady era, getting some new blood in the coaching positions as the team rebuilds will likely prove vital to the team’s success.
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