Is it the sexiest option? No.
Is it potentially a sneaky smart option? You bet.
How the Buccaneers approach hiring an offensive coordinator really depends on how the team sees Todd Bowles as the truly long-term option as head coach. Some fans seem to believe that Bowles will be scapegoated after an inevitably terrible season in 2023, one that nets the Buccaneers a high draft pick and the ability to draft a quarterback of the future.
In that scenario, an outsider could easily peg Lewis as a candidate for promotion since the idea would be the staff gets reset in 2024 anyway. That’s incredibly unfair — among many other things — to Lewis, and shouldn’t be the way his candidacy is viewed.
Lewis posses everything a young coordinator on the fast track to promotion should. He was instrumental in the success of Tampa Bay’s healthy offense in 2021, and is beloved by both Bowles and Bruce Arians. He’s also very young in his coaching career (there’s literally no pictures of him coaching in our image database), and a shot like this would give him the type of opportunity his colleagues regularly get.
Another thing working in his favor is how the best element of the Bucs offense this season was the passing game, and the glimpses of what Brady did with his receivers when allowed to cook under pressure could be what this offense looks like all the time. And if Brady does comeback, the offense has built-in familiarity with the potential for evolution.
If Brady leaves, just insert either a veteran quarterback like Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo and all of a sudden Tampa Bay’s offense is ripe for a surprise turnaround next year.
Even if a veteran isn’t secure, letting Lewis see what he has in Kyle Trask would either show the Bucs they already have a quarterback of the future on roster or prompt the drafting of one in 2024, but it would allow Lewis to prove he’s the right guy moving forward to build Todd Bowles’ offense.